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South Korea's Sei Young Kim takes Women's PGA Championship in style

The 27-year-old recorded the lowest final round in the tournament’s history.

Sei Young Kim holds up her trophy.
Sei Young Kim holds up her trophy.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

SOUTH KOREA’S SEI Young Kim captured her first major title on Sunday, winning the Women’s PGA Championship with a record-shattering seven-under par 63, the lowest final round in tournament history.

The 27-year-old from Seoul became the ninth first-time major winner from the past 10 women’s golf majors with a bogey-free finish at Aronimink in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.

“It means a lot,” Kim said. “I feel so emotional. It’s a dream come true. I’m waiting for a while to reach my biggest goal.

“I’m very happy with that. Feel like I overcome myself. Very happy with first major win.”

Seventh-ranked Kim finished the 72 holes on a tournament-record 14-under 266 to beat compatriot Park In-bee by five strokes with Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and Spain’s Carlota Ciganda sharing third on 273 and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist fifth on 276.

Ireland’s Leona Maguire shot a final round of 74 to finish 12 over par and tie for 65th place. 

“Sei Young was just really untouchable,” Park said. “She played really, really good golf today. I’d like to congratulate her. She had a great day. That’s how a champion plays a final round, so it was good to see that.”

Kim’s closing 63 matched the event’s all-time 18-hole record, shared by Americans Patty Sheehan in 1984 and Meg Mallon in 1999 and South Korean Kelly Shon in 2017.

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Kim had a chance at a 62 but missed a 15-foot birdie putt at the final hole, instead settling for the low last-round in Women’s PGA history, breaking the record 64 set last year and this year by Hataoka.

“This golf course is really challenging,” Kim said. “I tried to keep the focus on my job. It was really tough.

Sometimes I’m shaking my head and my legs were shaking but I was able to keep my focus and I was able to reach my big goal so I’m very happy about that.”

Kim beat the 72-hole tournament record low of 267 set by American Betsy King in 1992 at Bethesda (Maryland) Country Club.

It was the 11th LPGA triumph for Kim, her first since last November’s Tour Championship.

© – AFP, 2020

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