Sun Young Yoo won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in Rancho Mirage, Calif., with an 18-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole Sunday, earning her first major title after I.K. Kim missed a 1-foot putt on the final hole of regulation.
Yoo won the LPGA Tour’s first major of the season with steady play down the stretch, but she got to make the traditional leap into Poppie’s Pond only after Kim’s mind-boggling miss on the same green minutes earlier.
Yoo, who earned her second career LPGA Tour victory, and Kim finished at 9 under, but Kim could have all but wrapped up her first major with the tap-in par putt. Kim might have struck the ball oddly, and it toured the lip of the cup before coming out on the same side it entered.
Kim’s unbelievable miss on the Dinah Shore course will go down in tournament lore after a thoroughly wacky final round in which five players held the lead.
Kim had been the most consistent contender amid those wild momentum swings, going bogey-free through 17 holes – until she made a mistake reminiscent of Scott Hoch’s missed 2-foot putt that would have won the 1989 Masters, and Doug Sanders’ miss on a 3-footer to win the 1970 British Open.
Kim and Yoo, both from South Korea, shot 69s.
Top-ranked Yani Tseng finished third at 8 under with a disappointing final-round 73.
Defending champion Stacy Lewis closed with a 66 to finish in a four-way tie for fourth.
Hunter Mahan won the Houston Open in Humble, Texas, to become the tour’s first two-time winner this year, finishing with a 1-under 71 to beat Carl Pettersson by a stroke.
Mahan, the Match Play Championship winner, finished at 16 under at Redstone. The victory moved Mahan to No. 4 in the world ranking, the first time he’s ever been the highest-ranked American.
He earned $1.08 million for his fifth PGA Tour title.
Pettersson closed with a 71 in the final tuneup for the Masters next week at Augusta National.
Third-round leader Louis Oosthuizen was another shot back at 14 under after a 75. Defending champ Phil Mickelson (71), Keegan Bradley (71), Brian Davis (74) and Jeff Overton (68) tied for fourth at 12 under.