Girl Power

A 14-year-old wins the U.S. Amateur
August 20, 2006

Theirsimilarities make it tempting to compare Kimberly Kim with Michelle Wie. Kim isthe 14-year-old from Hilo, Hawaii, who won the U.S. Women's Amateur on Sundayat Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Hills, Ore., beating KatharinaSchallenberg, 26, of Lengerich, Germany, 1 up in the final. Wie, of course, isthe 16-year-old from Honolulu who's won nothing except the 2003 Women's PublicLinks as a 13-year-old but has gone on to earn millions since, largely byplaying against men. Many would like to present the latter as a cautionary talefor the former, but it's a useless object lesson. Each golfer has one USGAtitle, so it's impossible to make the case that Kim is learning how to winagainst appropriate competition any more than Wie did. Kim is having a goodsummer. She lost in the final of the Women's Public Links and made the cut atthe Women's Open, but turning pro or competing against men is not an option.She is a small girl (5'4") who hits the ball an average distance (about 250yards off the tee). She's unabashedly youthful and relaxed, full of storiesabout her fondness for sleep and about little swing thoughts that she scribbleson her arm. The 6-foot Wie is a once-in-a-generation talent who drives the ballas far as Dean Wilson, another Hawaiian and last week's PGA Tour winner. It'scredible to question Wie's career management--playing against men, going pro,forgoing winning in favor of earning--but her career trajectory is not the sameas that of any other female golfer. Will Wie realize her awesome potential?That's yet to be seen, but either way there's little in her experience thatapplies to Kim.... After 60 holes Cristie Kerr trailed Angela Stanford in theCN Canadian Women's Open by seven shots, but Kerr birdied six of the next 10holes, and Stanford bogeyed the last two, making Kerr the winner at 12-under276.

ALSO ...

• Paul McGinleywithdrew from the PGA Championship to attend the funeral of Heather Clarke, thewife of Darren who died on Aug. 13. The two Irishmen are pals on the course,and their families are close off it. McGinley's wife, Ali, and Heather weredear friends, and both players' kids attend the same school. • Medinah head proMike Scully says Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Sergio García were among the fewpros who had not played a practice round at the club before this week. • OnAug. 11 Jeff Sluman played his sixth practice round at Medinah. It may not havebeen a serious warmup. He played with Bill Murray.

Survey Says...

Most Tour proshave woods with graphite shafts and irons with steel shafts. The chart showsshaft usage at the International. Of the 144 pros, only Greg Owen and JimmyWalker had steel-shafted drivers. Kent Jones was the lone user ofgraphite-shafted irons.


  Steel Graphite
Irons 99.3% .7%
Woods 5.4% 94.6%

The DarrellSurvey has tracked equipment usage at golf tournaments since 1938.

• For JohnGarrity's live PGA Championship blog, go to SI.com/golf.

For Sale

A California course with a clubhouse that's allWright

WHAT The Dragon Golf Course at Nakoma Resort

WHERE Clio, Calif.

COST $18 million

HOOK The highlight of the Dragon course is the24,000-square-foot clubhouse built from a Frank Lloyd Wright design that's beenfeatured in Architectural Digest. At 7,077 yards, with 84 bunkers and 120 feetof elevation change, the course itself isn't too shabby either.

FRINGE BENEFIT It's only an hour from Lake Tahoe. Canyou say hot tub?

"Rumors aside, I'm hitting the one-iron as well asever." --MY SHOT, PAGE G14

PHOTODON RYAN/APKID STUFF Kim became the Amateur's youngest champion. PHOTOERICK W. RASCO PHOTOGOLD MOUNTAIN REAL ESTATE LLC Nakoma's clubhouse

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)