Tseng crafts 1-shot win
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — The only time all day that Yani Tseng wasn't in control was when she took the traditional leap into the water at the 18th green after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
With her mother, caddie and several friends also taking the plunge yesterday, Tseng jumped as far into the pond as she could, then remembered that she can't swim.
"I told my caddie, 'I don't know how to swim, can you help me to get on the top?' It was a little scary," she said.
Everything else about Tseng's day had her smiling. She eagled the second hole and pulled ahead of a star-studded field with a 4-under 68 for her second major title.
Tseng, from Taiwan, finished at 13-under 275 at Mission Hills to hold off Suzann Pettersen by a stroke. Two of Tseng's three LPGA Tour victories have been majors — she won the 2008 LPGA Championship as a rookie, beating Maria Hjorth in a four-hole playoff.
Tseng started the day tied with Pettersen (69), one stroke behind Karen Stupples. Tseng took control of the tournament by chipping in for eagle on the 521-yard, par-5 second, then getting a birdie on the par-4 No. 3 that put her at 12 under.
"I had an eagle on the second hole, and I know today is going to be my day. I just kept telling myself, 'Commit to the shot and keep my tempo right, and just keep smiling all 18 holes,' " she said.
On No. 2, Tseng pushed a 3 wood onto the fringe, then chipped in.
"Yani got off to a flying start," said Pettersen, who won the 2007 LPGA Championship. "She played great today and she deserved to win."
Pettersen's eagle chip on 18 stopped just a few inches from the hole, and Tseng tapped in for par and the victory.
"Geez that was a big chip," Tseng said. "I was scared to look. I'm happy that missed, because you know, that was for eagle, and I have to make that putt for win."
Song-Hee Kim (70) was third at 9 under, top-ranked Lorena Ochoa (73) followed at 6 under, and Stupples (78) tied for fifth at 4 under with Jiyai Shin (71), Cristie Kerr (72) and Karrie Webb (73).
Honolulu's Michelle Wie tied for 27th at 3 over after shooting her worst round of the season — a 6-over-par 78. She had five bogeys — including three in a row from Nos. 2 to 4 — and made a 7 on the par-4 10th. She closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th.
KIM TAKES PLAYOFF
Meet the new Anthony Kim.
Shrugging off a bad putt on the 72nd hole, Kim parred the first hole of a playoff with Vaughn Taylor to win the Houston Open in Humble, Texas, for his third PGA Tour title.
Kim and Taylor were tied at 12-under 276 after Kim missed a 6-foot par putt in regulation on the water-lined 18th hole to settle for a 2-under 70.
Not long ago, Kim said he would've mentally unraveled.
"Two years ago, that bag may have been in the water," Kim said. "I might not have had clubs to go to the playoff. But I just feel calm out there, I feel no sense of urgency. It's something that's happened naturally and not something that's been forced.
"I'm comfortable with who I am out there. I found my identity."
Taylor finished with a 68. He needed a victory to qualify for the Masters in his hometown of Augusta, Ga.
"Hugely disappointed," Taylor said. "It's a tough pill to swallow."