- The Washington Times - Monday, July 6, 2009

From combined dispatches

SYLVANIA, Ohio | Eunjung Yi blew a six-stroke lead, then hit a 10-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to defeat Morgan Pressel and capture her first LPGA victory Sunday in what might be the final Jamie Farr Classic.

The 21-year-old second-year pro began the day with a four-shot lead. She birded two of the first three holes to go up six shots.

Pressel, chasing her third career victory, pulled even by holing a wedge shot for eagle on the par-5 17th hole.

Yi, from South Korea, finished at 18-under 266 to earn the $210,000 first prize. She had missed the cut in four of her seven starts this year on tour, and her biggest paycheck was just over $11,000 for finishing tied for 26th at the Corona Championship.

“I didn’t think about [Pressel],” she said. “I thought about my golf.”

Michelle Wie made a back-nine rush to finish at 16 under, tied for third.

The tournament’s contract with its title sponsor, the LPGA and Highland Meadows Golf Club expired after the final round.

Yi closed with an even-par 71, and Pressel had a 67. Wie had a career-best 64 but lost a chance to put extra pressure on the leaders when she misfired while going for the par-5 18th hole in two shots and had to settle for a par.

On the playoff hole, the 18th, both Yi and Pressel drove into the fairway and to the precipice of a steep hill that leads to a creek. Yi’s drive flirted with the trees that line the left edge of the fairway. Both hit metal woods short of the green, and both hit wedge to the green.

Pressel hit first and her approach came up short to the back left pin location, ending up on the first cut of rough about 20 feet from the hole. Yi, who lives part of the year in the San Diego area, hit a lower, harder shot that stopped 10 feet away.

Pressel’s birdie putt held the line and almost fell as it scooted past on the left edge. She then tapped in for par.

“She won the tournament,” Pressel said. “She made a birdie on the playoff hole. I had my opportunities.”

After looking over her putt, Yi hit it firmly and - before the ball even settled into the cup - she raised both arms in victory. She was in tears minutes later.

“When I hit it, I thought it was going in,” she said.

Kaymer tops Westwood

SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France | Martin Kaymer of Germany won the French Open, beating Lee Westwood of England in the first hole of a playoff.

The 2007 rookie of the year on the European Tour kept his composure in a dramatic finish to clinch his third title after having missed chances on the last few holes.

“On the last few holes, I was not as calm as I was at the beginning of the round,” Kaymer said. “But then in the playoff, I felt really relaxed and pretty laid back. That was probably the key that I could make a good stroke on the last putt.”

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