Sun Young Yoo Capitalizes On A One-Foot Mistake, Wins Kraft Nabisco Championship


Every golfer has nightmares of missing a one-foot put to win a championship. The only problem in Rancho Mirage, California was that I.K. Kim was awake and this was real. Kim had a one-foot putt on the 18th hole of the Kraft Nabisco Championship for par and the trophy and she did the unthinkable. Kim’s victory putt rimmed the cup and shot out back towards her, forcing her to tap in for bogey, erasing her one stroke lead. Oakley’s Sun Young Yoo was there, sporting her custom Flak Jacket sunglasses, one stroke behind the lead, ready to capitalize on Kim’s mistake. The tournament went to a playoff as a result of the epic miss and Yoo came out on top in the end.

On the final day of the tournament, five players, including the 25-year old Yoo, held the lead of the LPGA’s first major championship of the year. Yoo’s steady play on Sunday moved her from a tie for fourth at the beginning of the day into contention on the last hole. But it looked at the end like it would be too little, too late. Until Kim’s miss of a lifetime, Yoo was accepting the fact that she’d take second place. Then the inconceivable disaster happened.

“I thought I had no chance,” Yoo said. “I thought I.K. was going to make the putt, but it didn’t happen. She’s a great putter. She really doesn’t miss those kinds of putts, but that’s golf. You never know what’s going to happen. I was watching from the putting green, and that’s some luck.”

Call it luck, call it destiny, call it what you will, but regardless of Kim’s epic collapse, Yoo worked hard to be in contention all weekend. Yoo’s persistence and patience earned her the right to hop into the ice cold Poppie’s Pond at Rancho Mirage’s Mission Hills Country Club. Yoo became only the second South Korean ever to win the Kraft Nabisco Championship, elevating her above $3 million in career earnings.

“It’s huge. I didn’t think about winning today,” claimed Yoo. “I didn’t want to let myself down, but I think I did better than what I was expecting.”

Regardless of expectations, ending the Kraft Nabisco Championship with a dive into Poppie’s Pond with your caddy is every female golfer’s dream. Congratulations to Yoo for collecting the first major championship of the year and good luck the rest of the season.


John Ohail


April 09, 2012