Cherry Hills Village, Colo. – Irony of ironies, Birdie Kim lived up to her name in winning the 60th U.S. Women’s Open Sunday on the 72nd hole.
In an epic moment that will live in the annals of golf history, the 23-year-old Kim in her first Women’s Open holed out of a bunker on the 72nd hole to erase a deadlock at the top of the leaderboard.
Kim shot 1-over 72 Sunday, 3-over-par 287 for the championship, and in the process, deflated the hopes of 17-year-old amateur Morgan Pressel who had been on the 18th fairway tied with Kim when the ball disappeared in the hole to a raucous applause. Needing to match the birdie on a hole that surrendered just four all championship, Pressel’s chip for the equalizer ran 15 feet by the flagstick. She took bogey and tied another amateur, Brittany Lang, for runner-up honors at 5-over 289, while Natalie Gulbis and Lori Kane shot 6-over 290.
The runner-up finish was no consolation for the charismatic 17-year-old Pressel, teary-eyed as she dropped her final putt on No. 18. As she made her way to the scoring trailer scores of people, including Annika Sorenstam and her grandfather Herb Krickstein, embraced her.