Christina Kim Looks Past Corning, Ahead to Oakmont
By Stephanie Wei under LPGA

What are the chances that if you have three Kims and one Choi in a playoff, Choi wins? In just about any other game, the probability is bad. But in golf, well, it’s impossible to rely on odds; predicting the outcome is like a roll of the dice.

On Sunday in a four-way playoff between South Koreans Na Yeon Choi, In-Kyung Kim, Song-Hee Kim and American Christina Kim, Choi birdied the second extra hole to win the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.

After a double on the 10th hole, CK was five back of Choi, but birdied the next three and the 17th to join the two other Kims at 14-under. Choi squandered her lead and drained a clutch 15-footer on the 72nd hole to get in the playoff, where she’d eventually outlast the others.

I checked in with CK, the only fluent English speaker of the four, on Sunday evening via BlackBerry Messenger. Sunday was the first playoff she’s ever taken part in. “[It] felt like a mix of match play and a ladies league late afternoon match because there were four of us,” she said.

“[My] confidence was up, and my caddie Brian Funk has been a huge help [to] me. He told me to stay patient and to “stay with him” when I made my double.”

CK, who thrives in head-to-head battles (Exhibit A: Solheim Cup), said her emotions during the playoff were “almost too fine.” She added, “[I was] very focused, but tired.”

Naturally, she was disappointed that she lost, but she took away some positives.

Overall, I’m pleased with the week, missed a few goals I set for myself this week, though. [I] fought hard, love the way the back nine fits my eye and personality. [My] putting was great. [I] had a lesson with Ron Stockon [last] Monday for an hour and he has helped me immensely.

When I checked back with her via BBM on Monday evening, CK had already put Sunday behind her. “Yesterday is precisely that, she said. “The past. I was 100% at the Jamie Farr yesterday. I am presently 100% [at the US Women’s Open] now.”

The Women’s Open, the third major on the LPGA calendar, starts on Thursday, July 8, at Oakmont CC near Pittsburgh, PA.

“I feel great, ready to take it on,” she said. “And there are 18 tees and 18 greens. That’s all I need to feel ready.”

In other words, she has her game face on — it’s all business this week.