06-22-2021  5:11 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
By The Skanner News
Published: 16 August 2006

Pat Hurst watched expressionless as Jeong Jang prepared to putt on the 18th hole Sunday.

Hurst had already wrapped up her round at the Safeway Classic, a 4-under 68 that gave her the lead.

Jang was a shot back, but her birdie putt was less than 18 feet away. If she sank it, a playoff would be necessary.

"I kept thinking I didn't want to miss on the low side," Jang said. "But I did."

Jang finished with a 70 for a 9-under 207 at Columbia Edgewater Golf Club in Portland, and was the runner-up at the tournament for the third time -- one shot back of Hurst.

"I just keep trying and keep trying," she said.

Kim Saiki shot a 67 on the 6,377-yard, par-72 course to finish tied with Jang. Saiki was also second in Portland to Chris Johnson in 1997.

Juli Inkster had a 70 to finish two strokes back at 208.

"I had a pretty hot start. I birdied three of the first four holes, I think, and I just kept it steady after that," Hurst said.

Actually, she birdied four of the first five holes to finish with seven and wasn't hurt by three bogeys after starting the day in a group one stroke behind the leaders.

"Once I got the lead, I felt very comfortable," she said.

It was Hurst's fifth victory on the LPGA Tour and first since last year's State Farm Classic. She lost to Annika Sorenstam in an 18-hole playoff at this year's U.S. Women's Open.

Hurst, the 1995 rookie of the year, has been playing solidly this season with seven top-10 finishes.

Saiki, who sneaked onto the leaderboard for the final round, got married in January and has been playing a limited schedule. She admittedly has not been playing well on weekends this year, with a previous best-finish of 20th.

She finished the final round with five birdies and no bogeys.

"When I birdied 14, that was when I knew I had a chance," Saiki said.

Jang, who won last year's British Open, also took the Wegmans LPGA in Pittsford, N.Y., earlier this year.

She admitted to scoreboard watching.

"When I'm in the last group -- all the time," she said. "My dad told me, 'Don't watch the scoreboard on Sunday.' But I'm going to watch."

Morgan Pressel, Jenna Daniels, Jang and Candie Kung were the leaders by a stroke going into the final round, with six others -- including Hurst -- one shot off the pace.

"When we started on the first hole of the day, it felt like 20 or 30 people could win it," Hurst said.

The finish was made tense when Hurst bogeyed the par-4 No. 17 hole, to drop a stroke to 10 under. She missed her own birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given her a more comfortable margin over Jang.

Jang went to 10 under with a birdie on the par-4 No. 11, but bogeyed the next hole. She played at par the rest of the way.

Hurst, a popular figure on the tour, was cheered on loudly by Christina Kim, who also started the day at 6 under but shot a 73 on Sunday to drop out of contention. Kung gave Hurst a thumbs-up as she finished her round with Jang.

Asked what she thought about her round, Hurst laughed and said: "I'm not complaining."

"If it's meant to be, you'll make birdies out there, and if you play steady when you're up, you have a good chance of winning," Hurst said.

The rookie Pressel double-bogeyed the par-3 No. 16 and then bogeyed the 17th for a 74 to finish the tournament at 5 under.

Defending champion Soo-Yun Kang withdrew after nine holes on Saturday because of a neck injury.

Sorenstam, who won in Portland in 2002 and '03, skipped the tournament for the second straight year. She took time off after winning the Scandinavian TPC, the tournament she sponsors.

-- The Associated Press

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events