LPGA U.S. Open finish put on hold for the night

Hee Kyung Seo has a chance to carve her own special place in history. Not simply as a U.S. Open winner — but as a U.S. Open winner who won it without hitting a single shot on the final day.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Hee Kyung Seo has a chance to carve her own special place in history. Not simply as a U.S. Open winner — but as a U.S. Open winner who won it without hitting a single shot on the final day.

In a strange, storm-infested tournament that doesn’t want to end, Seo did just about everything she could to win her first major except control the weather. She shot a pair of 3-under 68s on Sunday to finish at 3-under 281 for a one-shot lead over her South Korean rival, So Yeon Ryu, who had three holes left when darkness halted play.

Cristie Kerr was another shot back with two holes left.

Seo will sleep on the lead — though not as comfortably as she could have after missing a three-foot par putt on No. 17 — and then has a chance to wake up today, come to the course, never touch a club and walk away with the trophy and a check for $585,000.

“I can sleep very well, so I don’t worry about that,” she said.

But she couldn’t celebrate quite yet.

Rain delayed play for the fourth time in four days — this time for two hours, 37 minutes — and left 28 players still on the course, three of whom still have a shot at the title.

There’s Ryu, who shot 69 on her first trip around the course Sunday morning and has at least one decent birdie opportunity — the par-5 17th — awaiting when play resumes Monday.

“Right now, it’s kind of breezy out there,” she said when she walked off. “Tomorrow, it might be good weather and the greens might be soft. So, it’s good for me, yeah.”

There’s Kerr, a two-time major winner who isn’t conceding anything. She was getting ready to do an interview after darkness fell when she saw Seo hugging friends and family.

“The tournament is not decided yet,” Kerr said. “I think she’s over there celebrating. We all have a chance. I’m going to go out and swing for the fences and hopefully tie it up.”

Also with an outside chance is Angela Stanford, who is at even par, three shots behind with four holes to play.

Sue Kim of Langley, B.C., was the lone Canadian to make the cut. She was 3-over through 12 holes and through three rounds had a 14-over, 224 total.

If the tournament ends in a tie, they’ll decide the championship with a three-hole playoff.

On Sunday, Seo played better than anyone over 36 grueling holes of golf — at altitude on a 7,000-yard course, longest in U.S. Women’s Open history. The highlights included four straight birdies on the front nine in her final round that boosted her from 1-under par into the lead — a lead she never lost.

She scrambled through the back nine, saving par with a tricky five-foot putt on 11, again from an awkward stance above a greenside bunker on No. 13, then again after a drive into the deep rough on 15.

“I just trusted myself and just let it go, and I made lots of birdies,” Seo said.

Stanford briefly pulled into a tie with Seo, but missed a three-foot putt for bogey on No. 11 to start a free-fall — 4-over par on holes 11 through 15.

By the time Seo reached No. 17, she was ahead by two, pointing and staring at a rainbow overhead.

But the moment didn’t last long. First, after being asked by tournament officials to close the gap with the group in front, she started jogging up the fairway — not the traditional gait from someone trying to close out a major. A few moments later, Seo missed a 3-footer for bogey that let Ryu creep to within one shot.

Par for the course on a difficult day where pars were hard to find. There were only 10 completed rounds under par and nobody posted a better score than Seo’s duplicate 68s.

Yani Tseng had no luck. The world No. 1 never figured out the breaks that run away from the mountains on the Broadmoor’s greens and finished 6 over after four exhausting days.

“It’s tough to play on and off,” Tseng said. “Sometimes you just want to try to get rhythm, and it’s really tough.”

Paula Creamer didn’t fare any better. The defending champion was 5 over through the first 14 holes of the last round and will play out the string Monday, starting at 7-over par.

Most of the players arrived at the course around 5 a.m., and when they got there, they were looking at two of Japan’s best players — Mika and Ai Miyazato — in the lead.

Some 15 hours later, and thanks to a pair of third-round 76s from the Miyazatos, Japan’s flag had been replaced by South Korea’s at the top of the leaderboard and the Miyazatos — unrelated but both from Okinawa — were 3 over with five holes left.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US Vice-President Joe Biden walk down the Hall of Honour on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. If Joe Biden’s decision to kill off Keystone XL is supposed to sound the death knell for Canada-U.S. relations, you wouldn’t know it from the newly minted president’s call sheet. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
In wake of decision to kill Keystone XL, Biden’s first foreign-leader call? Trudeau

Biden rescinded former president Donald Trump’s approval of the US$8-billion cross-border pipeline expansion

Protesting farmers and their families gather around a bonfire to mark the harvest festival, which is called Lohri, on a blocked highway in protest against new farm laws on the outskirts of New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. Changes in India’s farm laws could potentially open up one of the world’s most populous markets and are being closely watched by Canada’s agricultural and economic sectors, say experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Altaf Qadri
Changes in Indian farm laws could benefit Canada, experts say

Independent committee of experts to negotiate with opponents of legislation

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
CFIB raises estimate of small businesses at risk of closing permanently

One in six Canadian small business owners seriously contemplating shutting down

Former Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shakes hands with Joel Ward, former Red Deer College President and CEO, as Notley announces that the college is on the path to grant degrees. Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan says university status is not a necessary condition for offering degrees. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Future of Red Deer University increasingly uncertain

MLA’s college update says RDC more like SAIT and NAIT than a university

Lucas Berg, left, with the backpacks filled with essential items he donated to the Red Deer Mustard Seed Jan. 19, 2021. (Photo submitted)
Central Alberta teenager donates filled 20 backpacks to Red Deer Mustard Seed

Lucas Berg, 14, of Ponoka County says he ‘just wants to help people’

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus looks into a souvenir shop displaying various of stickers, one of them showing a former U.S. President Donald Trump caricature, in Beijing, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. China imposed sanctions on nearly 30 former Trump administration officials moments after they left office on Wednesday. In a statement released just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, Beijing slapped travel bans and business restrictions on Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and U.N. ambassador, Kelly Craft. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
China hopes for co-operation, better relations under Biden

U.S. need to relaunch co-operation in a number of areas

German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks to the media during a press conference on the current situation in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. Topics include the decisions taken by the federal and state governments to combat the Corona pandemic, the Chancellor’s upcoming virtual consultations with the heads of state and government of the European Union (EU), and relations with the United States following the inauguration of the new president. (Michael Kappeler/Pool via AP)
Germany’s Merkel stands by Russia pipeline that US opposes

Washington says the project makes Europe more dependent on Russian gas and hurt European energy security

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, left, greets International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel during their meeting in Minsk, Belarus, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. (Nikolai Petrov/BelTA Pool Photo via AP)
Lithuania offers to replace Belarus as hockey worlds co-host

Tournament scheduled to run May 21 to June 6

Canadian international midfielder Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare, left, is seen in action against St. Louis FC in an undated handout photo. Gagnon-Lapare has joined HFX Wanderers FC on a two-year deal with a club option for 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-HFX Wanderers FC
Canadian international Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare joins CPL’s HFX Wanderers FC

Gagnon-Lapare most recently with Ottawa Fury FC and St. Louis FC

An Italian police officer stands by a copy of the “Salvator Mundi” (Savior of the World) by Leonardo da Vinci, in Naples, Italy, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. Italian police have recovered a copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s 16th century “Salvator Mundi” painting of Jesus Christ that was stolen from a Naples church without the priests even realizing it was gone. The discovery was made over the weekend when Naples police working on a bigger operation found the painting hidden in an apartment. Police chief Alfredo Fabbrocini said the owner offered a “less than credible” explanation that he had “casually” bought it at a small market. (Italian Police via AP)
Italian police find stolen copy of Leonardo ‘Salvator Mundi’

500-year-old copy of Leonardo da Vinci painting

Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as her husband Doug Emhoff holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)
Inauguration fashion: Purple, pearls, American designers

Joe Biden wore navy blue suit and overcoat by Ralph Lauren

Adam Hadwin, of Canada, chips to the second green during the first round of the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Matt Slocum
Adam Hadwin hopes to hit reset button in 2021 starting with American Express

Adam Hadwin hopes to hit reset button in 2021 starting with American Express

Most Read