Stupples suffers last-hole misery

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The British golfer Karen Stupples missed a 14ft birdie putt on the 18th green and with it the chance of winning the Corning Classic here on Sunday. Instead, Meg Mallon, the US Women's Open champion, rolled her own 10-ft birdie putt into the middle of the cup to spark wild celebrations among the home crowd.

The British golfer Karen Stupples missed a 14ft birdie putt on the 18th green and with it the chance of winning the Corning Classic here on Sunday. Instead, Meg Mallon, the US Women's Open champion, rolled her own 10-ft birdie putt into the middle of the cup to spark wild celebrations among the home crowd.

Stupples, who began the final round four shots ahead of Mallon, posted a two-over-par 73 to the American's 68. The defending champion Se Ri Pak, of South Korea, also missed a birdie putt on the final green which, like for Stupples, would have forced a play-off.

"I really have no complaints," said Stupples, whose confidence was high after winning the Women's British Open a week before. "If somebody had told me I'd tie for second at the start of the week I'd have jumped all over it. I gave it a good try today but it just wasn't in me.

"Give more credit to Meg. She played superb, brought it to me and won the tournament."

Stupples' problems began when she hooked her tee shot on the par-three sixth and made bogey moments after Mallon birdied the same hole.

But Stupples birdied the next hole and maintained a three-shot lead through 11. At the par-four 12th, she again hooked her drive into the trees and made bogey. On the next hole, she missed a short par putt as Pak pulled even with a birdie at 16.

"That was ridiculous," Stupples said of her three-putt bogey. "I had a 35ft first putt that was downhill, left to right and I hit it too hard. It was just stupid of me to hit the first putt so far past."

Mallon had no regrets after her third win of the year. "I was set over that putt and I was thinking, 'I've won the US Open. I don't get nervous.' But I'll tell you what, I was nervous," she said.

* Tiger Woods goes into this week's USPGA championship - his final chance to win a major this season - having equalled a world rankings record. By keeping his No 1 position this week Woods has matched Greg Norman's 331 weeks at the top between 1986, the year the ranking system started, and 1998. Woods first headed the list in June 1997 during his first full season as a professional and has had seven spells there - the last of them for 261 consecutive weeks since August 1999.

Comments