Recari beats Kim in Kia Classic playoff
Carlsbad, CA – Beatriz Recari birdied the second playoff hole Sunday to beat I.K. Kim and win the Kia Classic.
Kim bogeyed the final hole of regulation to close a round of 1-under 71. Recari also bogeyed the 18th for a 2-over 74. They ended regulation tied at 9- under-par 279.
The duo returned to the 18th tee at Aviara Golf Club for the playoff. Both found the short grass with their tee shots. Recari pulled her second shot into the chipping area left of the green.
Kim did the same. After Recari played her third shot seven feet by the hole, Kim left her birdie effort nine feet short. Kim missed the par putt left. With a chance to win, Recari missed her par chance right of the hole.
They both tapped in for bogey and headed back to the 18th tee for a second time. Kim and Recari both found the fairway off the tee again.
Recari's second flirted with the water right of the green, but ended on the fringe. Kim's approach stopped about 35 feet short of the hole. Kim missed her birdie try left of the cup.
Recari poured in her birdie try from off the green to earn her second LPGA Tour title.
"It was hard down the stretch. I had a birdie on 16, then after that this (18th) green was tough. I really, really have to thank my family and my coach. It's really special to get my second win," Recari said through tears in a greenside interview.
"I'm not close to calm right not. It's the opposite. Every victory is different. This is just amazing, I can't believe it. I'm just really happy."
Pornanong Phatlum, like Recari and Kim, bogeyed the last to miss the playoff by one. Phatlum posted a 4-under 68 to end at minus-8. She ended alongside Cristie Kerr (71) and Mo Martin (69).
Karrie Webb (74), Jane Park (71) and Lizette Salas (72) shared sixth place at 7-under-par 281.
Women's world No. 1 Stacy Lewis moved to 11-under and into a share of the lead, but dropped five shots over the last eight holes to end three back at minus-6.
Lewis was one of five players that had at least a piece of the lead in the final round.
Recari was two clear at the start of the round, but had nine pars and two bogeys through 11 holes. She was two back at minus-9.
The Spaniard birdied the 16th to reclaim a piece of the lead. With a chance to win in regulation, she bogeyed the last to go into the extra session.
Kim, who missed a tap-in par at the final hole of regulation and lost in a playoff at last year's Kraft Nabisco Championship, flew into the lead with three birdies in the first seven holes. That got her to 11-under, but she stumbled to three consecutive bogeys from the 11th.
The three-time winner on the LPGA Tour bounced back with birdies on 15 and 16 to regain a share of the lead. Kim 3-putted for bogey at the last to slip into the playoff.
NOTES: Recari collected $255,000 for the victory ... She also won the 2010 CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge ... Phatlum's 68 was one of the four on the day, and they were the low rounds on Sunday ... After a week off, the LPGA Tour heads to Rancho Mirage for the season's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, where Sun Young Yoo beat Kim in a playoff last year.