Katherine Hull wins Canadian Women's Open
Katherine Hull won her first LPGA tournament on Sunday, fending off Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak to claim the Canadian Women's Open by one stroke at Ottawa's Hunt and Golf Club.
"I just tried to play the best I could," Hull said. "I honestly did not expect to win at all."
Hull, from Australia, finished 3-under par 69 in the final round and 11-under 277 for the tournament, winning $337,500 US.
Her previous best as a pro came at the 2005 Canadian Open, when she was second to champion Meena Lee at Glen Arbour in Halifax.
"This is something we all dream about as kids and to have it actually happen is amazing," Hull said. "I was thinking this might be the year I broke through."
"But that is how golf goes. It is four rounds, 72 holes and anything can happen."
Pak, who has 24 career wins, pocketed $205,481 US to become the fifth player in LPGA history to earn at least $10-million US in her career.
The South Korean started poorly with bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes and a four-putt on the sixth before battling back to even-par with birdies on three of the next four holes and No. 18.
"I just tried to forget about it," Pak said. "There was lots of golf left and it was too early to give up."
Hull capitalized on a colossal collapse by rookie pro Yani Tseng of Chinese Taipei, who led Pak by four strokes and Hull by six heading into the final round.
"You don't expect it, but there is always that possibility," Hull said. "I'm sure the lead group felt more pressure than I did.
"But when you tee it up, you don't know what will happen. You cannot control how anyone else is playing."
Tseng, winner of the LPGA Championship in June, fell out of contention with four bogeys on the front nine and a double bogey on the 11th hole.
The 19-year-old settled for a 5-over 77, plunging to 9-under and third-place overall — giving her one major title, four seconds and a third in her first year on the LPGA Tour.
"That will happen, not only to her," Pak said. "It has happened to me and whoever.
"In golf, there are no guarantees … she played well."
Kane is top Canadian
Charlottetown's Lorie Kane (72) was the top Canadian in the tournament at 4-over 292.
"Nothing would make me happier or prouder than to win the Canadian Open," she said. "And Priddis [in Calgary] next year, that golf course sets my eye already."
Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ont., (75) trailed Kane by one shot, Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., (75) was 6-over and Jennifer Greggain of Chilliwack, B.C., (81) was 15-over.
Defending champion Lorena Ochoa of Mexico, the world's top-ranked golfer, fired a 73 to share fourth overall with Sun Young Yoo (69) and Song-Hee Kim (70) at 7-under.
Eighteen-year-old Michelle Wie tied for 12th at 3-under in the last of her six LPGA Tour exemptions.
The Stanford student has yet to confirm whether she will try to earn her LPGA Tour card at Q-school.
"I feel like I gained a lot of confidence in myself again this year," Wie said. "Being pain-free in the latter part of the year, I started feeling confident.
"From May on, it was getting better and better. Now in the off-season, I know what to work on for next year."
Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam, who will retire at season's end, carded 74 in the final round and finished tied for 21st at 2-over.
With files from the Canadian Press