Sei Young Kim Breaks Her Major Duck With Sparkling Victory
Sei Young Kim shot a final round of 63 to secure the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, her first women’s major, by five strokes from Inbee Park.
"I'm actually really hiding my tears at the moment," she said after a record-breaking victory. Her final-round 63 tied a tournament record, and her 266 winning total is a championship record.
This was her 11th LPGA Tour victory but easily the most important of her career. Park, a three-time winner of this championship, shot a five-under 65.
Kim, a 2016 Olympian, was runner-up at the 2015 Women's PGA Championship and tied for second at the Evian Championship in 2018.
She won this tournament with a round to remember at Aronimink. Her fifth birdie of the day at the par-three 14th gave her a four-shot lead over Park and that was the moment when she allowed herself to believe she was going to win. She earned $645,000 for the victory and has now enjoyed at least one win in every LPGA Tour season since 2015.
Nasa Hataoka and Carlota Ciganda tied for third at seven under. Anna Nordqvist (four under) and Brooke Henderson (three under) finished fifth and sixth.
Kim is the latest first-time major winner. Her victory means nine of the past 10 major champions had never won one before. She joins Sophia Popov (Women's Open) and Mirim Lee (ANA Inspiration) as this year's major champions.
"I thought 65 would definitely do it," Park said. "But obviously Sei Young was just much better than anyone else out there today."
Kim matched a tournament record with a 29 on the front nine on Friday and shot 32 for the front nine in the final round.
"I won't lie, I did feel the pressure," Kim said. "I actually arrived about 30 minutes later than I normally do at the golf course. I really tried to stay composed during the tournament, during the round, and I'm happy that I got it done."
The tournament was delayed three months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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