|Volume 1, Number 15 October 8, 2003|
2003 Safeway Classic: Sunday
2, 3, 4,
5, 6, 7,
8, 9, 10, 11, Gallery, Results
|Three Korean players were within four shots of the lead at the start of the day. How many would be left standing by the end?||
Grace on the range before her final round
On the final day, for the first time, I assigned a reporter to cover
one group while I watched another. I followed Se Ri all day, while my
wife followed Grace Park and Hee-Won Han, who were paired together.
Hole 2: Par 3. Grace was 10 feet right of the hole, Han missed the green way to the left. She had to hit her second up a steep slope. Got on, but two putted for bogey. Grace missed her birdie, got par.
Candid shot of Grace from Wednesday
Hole 3: Grace, left of the fairway by a tree, had to get a ruling. Han hit her drive to the right side of the fairway, then hit her approach to 7 feet, eventually making par. Grace hit an amazing shot from the trees to pretty close to the hole, then made birdie. A truly spectacular effort by Grace.
Hole 4: Han's tee shot was on left side of fairway. Grace hit hers to the right next to the fairway bunker. Dave kept asking the marshall there, 'Did it bounce? Did it bounce in the sand?' over and over; the marshall did not seem to understand what he was saying. I'm not sure why Dave wanted to know this; perhaps he was afraid the ball had sand on it that would affect its flight. She hit from there to the edge of the green, then her third stopped on the edge of the hole. Par. Han's shot went over the green, third shot to ten feet, then saved par.
Hole 5: Both hit the fairway. Grace got her second shot to 30
yards short of green. But Han hit her second shot way to the right from
there, where it rolled down a hill into the jungle. Her third she pitched
up, but it was not a very good shot, though it did reach the green. She
got par. Grace had an 8 footer for birdie, but just missed it.
Hole 1: I wished Se Ri a Happy Birthday, and she gave me one of her medium wattage smiles and said 'thank you'. I think I may be the only person who did that all day, although I wasn't following Se Ri the whole time. Anyway, she hit a fairway wood of some kind off the tee, then followed that up with an iron to 5 feet and nailed an easy birdie. Tammie Green, her playing partner, also made a birdie by hitting one to 6 feet. A really quick hole, and Se Ri moved to 6 under!
Hole 2: Par 3. The flag was a bit towards the back today. Se Ri left her tee shot about 25 feet short, and two putted for par.
Hole 3: Another great drive, dead straight. I'm guessing 265 yards. Her iron, about 130 to the flag, bounced a bit when it landed. It looked like it hit near the flag, but ended up about 20 - 25 feet away again for another two putt par (though this one came close to going in). Green really screwed this hole up, hitting a terrible iron well short of the green, chipping well past the hole, then three putting for a double bogey. Se Ri did a lot of waiting here.
Hole 4: I'm hearing a lot of cheers, leading me to believe that Annika, who is the only player out here with a huge gallery, is probably making a charge. There are only about 20 people following Se Ri. Grace and Hee-Won have a much larger gallery, more like 150. Se Ri hit another booming drive, middle of the fairway, then landed her iron about 12 feet short, which then hopped a couple more feet forward, then stopped on a dime. It was a relatively easy, straightforward putt, and I remember thinking that this was the kind of putt Se Ri needed to make for the most part if she wanted to have any chance to make a move. But stopped the ball right next to the hole, for another par.
Se Ri relaxes on the range before her final round
|Hole 5: Par 5. She hit her shot well left,
along the line of the water that lurks there. It was scary for a minute,
but it landed a good 50 yards past the water. It was hard to tell if it
bounced out of the rough into the fairway (the hole doglegs left). When
I got up there, I saw that her ball was in the rough, not really blocked
by trees on the left, but with only a slight window to reach the green;
too far left or right and she was in the trees. She had only 200 yards to
the green, though, a looong drive! She hit a long iron, but went too right.
Fortunately, it hit a branch and bounced back into the fairway, about 20
yards from the front of the green. Birthday bounce!
Turns out, this was exactly the kind of chip she missed several times at the Open. Just in the rough, about 20 yards from the front of the green, 25 yards from the hole. She hit a half pitch that rolled a ways, stopping about two feet from the hole. It was a downhill putt, but virtually a gimme. And she missed it. Another missed gimme putt, something like the fourth this week. Par.
Hole 6: We ran ahead to catch up with Se Ri, who was on the 6th
green when I got there. The lead at this point was 10 under, but Se Ri
had a three footer for birdie (presumably after a great iron). This time
she didn't miss it, and moved to 7 under. Han and Kang had by now stumbled,
leaving just Grace and Se Ri still in it.