Kung wins rain-shortened State Farm Classic

Tuesday, September 2nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Heavy rains helped Candie Kung to her second straight victory, and handed Laura Davies another heartbreak at the Rail Golf Course.

Kung edged out Davies by one stroke to win the LPGA State Farm Classic on Sunday after heavy rains forced the cancellation of the tournament's final round.

Kung finished the tournament at 14-under 202 through 54 holes for her second tournament win in a row and third of the season. She won the Wachovia Classic last week and the Takefuji Classic in April.

``It feels great right now,'' Kung said. ``It still hasn't sunk in yet, and hopefully, it will in the next couple of days. Two wins in two weeks.''

The cancellation is the first for the final round of an LPGA tour event since Nancy Lopez won the rain-shortened Chick-fil-A Charity Championship in 1997, tour officials said.

Davies' 13 under put her in second place for the third time at the Classic _ a losing streak she was eager to try to break Sunday.

``I felt I had a good chance today,'' Davies said. ``It leaves everything so unfinalized in your mind.''

Hee-Won Han was third at 12 under, and Karen Stupples ended at 10 under. Four others were tied at 9 under.

After steady rain briefly delayed play Friday afternoon, tournament officials hoped to beat the bad weather Sunday by getting all players off the tee by 9 a.m. But just as the final group of Kung, Davies and Han teed off the 1st hole, play was stopped for 3 1/2 hours because heavy rain made the course unplayable.

Tour rules official Janet Lindsay said a ``truly unplayable'' course and more rain forecasted for Monday forced the cancellation. Davies said she was disappointed but doesn't blame officials for the decision.

Kung said she would have liked to have played Sunday, but isn't complaining about how things turned out.

``I think a win is a win,'' Kung said. ``But everyone out there who made the cut after Friday wanted to finish 72 holes. It just happened to be one of those weeks.''

Kung led by as many as five strokes in Saturday's third round, but she stumbled and finished the day with a 1-under 71.

Davies, meanwhile, fired a 6-under 66 to pull within one stroke, but the long-hitting veteran could have been in even better position. She missed holing a bunker shot on the 18th Saturday by about 2 inches.

Davies said she didn't regret missing that shot but does wonder what could have happened Sunday.

``It was anyone's to win, really,'' Davies said. ``Candie had a one-shot lead, but a one-shot lead is nothing.''

Kung took home the $180,000 winner's check for the $1.2 million Classic, while Davies earned just over $109,000 for second.

With her third-place finish, Han leapfrogged Se Ri Pak to claim the $100,000 winner's check in the State Farm LPGA Series. Pak led with 336 points for the year heading into this week but finished ninth at 8 under, and the weighted point system here gave Han the bonus series title.