Birdie makes one, wins Open

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 29, 2005

CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) - The grueling golf course turned Annika Sorenstam into a sideshow and made Michelle Wie look like the teenager she is. It left some players in tears and sent dozens more home jolted by such a demanding test.

Finally, stunningly, a girl named Birdie proved that Cherry Hills really could be tamed - or at least subdued long enough to produce one of the most thrilling U.S. Women's Open finishes in history.

Birdie Kim, the 23-year-old Korean who changed her name so she would stand out, made a 30-yard sand shot for - what else? - birdie on the final hole Sunday to defeat heartbroken 17-year-old Morgan Pressel.

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''It was like, 'I can't believe that actually just happened,''' Pressel said, recalling her reaction when she saw Kim's shot go in while she stood on the 18th fairway.

Tied with Pressel and playing one group ahead of her on 18, Kim readily acknowledged that when she stepped down into the deep bunker to the front-right side of the green, she was only hoping to get the ball close enough to save par, then hope for a playoff.

''But I never thought about the ball going into the hole,'' she said.