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Kung wins her first LPGA title

©Associated Press

April 20, 2003

LAS VEGAS -- Candie Kung made sure the 18th hole wouldn't be her undoing this time.

Kung built a three-shot lead before bogeying the final hole Saturday to win her first LPGA tournament, the Takefuji Classic, by two shots over Annika Sorenstam and two others.

The second-year player lost the lead in the first and second rounds with final-hole miscues. This time, the finishing three-putt bogey didn't matter.

"I was just trying to hit a green and walk out of there with a par," the 21-year-old Kung said.

Kung double-bogeyed the hole in the first round and bogeyed her final hole after shanking a shot in the second round. But on Saturday, the 4-footer she missed for par meant only that her winning margin was smaller.

Kung finished with 2-under-par 70 and was 12 under for the tournament.

Sorenstam rallied on the back nine with three straight birdies and closed with birdie on the 18th. But, after being six shots back in the opening round, she never threatened to take the lead in the 54-hole event.

Sorenstam shot 67 in her final two rounds, but ran out of holes to catch Kung. Christie Kerr and Soo-Yun Kang finished tied with her for second at 10 under.

Eight of the 35 tournaments on tour this year are 54 holes instead of 72.

"I've always been in favor of four-day (tournaments)," Sorenstam said. "But I knew it was 54 holes going into the tournament."

THE HERITAGE: Stewart Cink looked from his ball to the cup on the eighth hole at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C. He saw the 20 feet of fringe, the hump about 10 feet from the cup and the 3 feet of break he needed to play.

"As soon as it left the putter I felt like it had a chance to go in," Cink said. The unlikely birdie started Cink's rally back to the top with 69 and left him with a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the PGA Tour event.

"That's confidence," Cink said. "That's the way I've been feeling over a lot of my putts."

Cink came in with a one-shot lead, but fell three strokes behind playing partner Hal Sutton after seven holes.

"To come back on eight with a good putt and birdied 10, 11, that's where I've been helped quite a bit," Cink said. "I've really grown."

Cink stood at 12-under 201, a stroke ahead of Jeff Sluman, who had the day's best round (64).

Woody Austin (65) and Kenny Perry (67) were at 10 under. Four-time Heritage champion Davis Love (69), Sutton (71), Steve Flesch (67) and Chad Campbell (70) were another shot behind.

EMERALD COAST CLASSIC: Tom Watson and Bob Gilder finished the second round of the Champions Tour event in Milton tied for the lead at 10-under 130, one stroke in front of six others.

First-round co-leaders Gil Morgan and Leonard Thompson were a shot back, along with Bobby Wadkins, Morris Hatalsky, Larry Nelson and Vicente Fernandez. Tom Purtzer and Dana Quigley were two back.

"Somebody's got to shoot a low round to win," said Watson, who shot 4-under 66. "It's got to be 65 or better. I don't think 66 is going to cut it."

Watson, who missed a chance to lead heading into the final round when he bogeyed the 18th, will be trying to win for the first time in Florida. He has played 84 PGA and Champions tour events in the state without a victory.

ALGARVE OPEN: Fredrik Jacobson shot 1-under 71 to take a one-stroke lead heading into the final round of the European PGA Tour event in Faro, Portugal.

On a windy day, Jacobson had three birdies and two bogeys to go to 5-under 211 for the tournament.

Overnight leader Greg Owen ballooned to 76 and dropped to a second-place tie at 212 with Brian Davis.

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