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Golf- Hooray for Housewife, Hooray for Nameless

Posted March. 25, 2002 09:53,   


===Hooray For Housewife

`Super Peanut` Kim Mi-Hyun (25. KTF) has risen again like a `tumbler` and joined the leading group in the U.S. LPGA Tour Welch’s/Circle K Championship (total prizes of 800,000 dollars).

The 3rd round took place in Tucson’s Randolph North Golf Course (par 72), Arizona, on the 24th. Starting off as 2nd-tier on the first day, Kim had fallen down to 26th with 2-over on the previous day. If it was like the old times, she would have had given in. However, Kim has matured, and she recovered by hitting 6 birdies without bogie, just like in the first round, seeking her first title in the season. Her current score is 11-under, which put her in the 4th position with last year’s champion, Annika Sorenstam (Sweden).

Solo-header is `housewife golfer` Julie Inkster (U.S.A.), and she is 5 strokes ahead of Kim.

Jang Jeong (Zinus), who was within `top 10` (tied 6th) in last week’s Ping Banner Health tournament, reduced 2 strokes to sum up to 7-under, taking the 19th position with Park Ji-Eun (Ihwa Women’s Univ.).

Starting off well in the 1st hole with a 30-centimeter birdie, Kim hit consecutive birdies in the 3rd and 4th holes to raise her rank. She added a birdie in the 7th hole, reducing 4 strokes only in the first half, and earned consecutive birdies in 13th and 14th holes again.

===Hooray For Nameless

So-called `the 5th Major`, Players Championship, has never awarded non-champions of the U.S. PGA Tours its title during the history of 28 tournaments.

Would such jinx be broken in this year’s tournament, which offers 6 million dollars in total prizes and as much as 1.08 million dollars for the title? Unfamiliar Carl Paulson (32. U.S.A.) and Craig Perks (35. New Zealand) are to enter the last round on the 25th as the `champion group`.

The 3rd round was held at Ponte Vedra Beach’s Stadium course of TPC at Sawgrass (par 72), Florida, on the 24th. Paulson has never won a title since his debut in 1995, but he is currently running in the first position with 9-under.

Paulson’s crisis in his player life came in this year’s January with meningitis, but soon returned to the Tour only to face cut-off failure in all of the 4 tournaments he participated in. This time, however, is completely different, as he hit 3-under for 3 days in a row.

Last year’s 113th ranker on the money list, Perks, also is only 1 stroke behind Paulson to claim the 2nd position.

Big players seemed helpless before the wild `uprising of the nameless`. Tiger Woods (U.S.A.) had been seeking the tournament’s first 2nd consecutive title and victories for 2 weeks in a row, but he only stayed at tied 10th along with 5 other players like Sergio Garcia (Spain) with 3-under. Woods, who is 6 strokes behind Paulson at the top, is determined to make last-minute spurts to defend the title for 2 consecutive years.

Choi Kyung-Ju remained at tied 48th with 3-over.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com