Kim wins Thornberry crown in historic style

Source:AFP Published: 2018/7/9 22:43:40

S.Korean sets new LPGA record

South Korean golfer Kim Sei-young hits her second shot on the first hole during the final round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic on Sunday in Oneida, Wisconsin. Photo: VCG

South Korean Kim Sei-young smashed the LPGA 72-hole scoring record on Sunday, winning the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic with a stunning 31-under-par total.

Kim, 24-under to start the day, fired a final-round seven-under-par 65 on the par-72 Thornberry course in Oneida, Wisconsin.

Her 31-under total of 257 broke the ­LPGA's 72-hole scoring record in relation to par of 27-under, first set by Swedish great Annika Sorenstam in 2001 and matched by Kim herself at the 2016 Founders Cup in Phoenix.

She also broke the record for fewest strokes over 72 holes of 258, achieved by Karen Stupples in 2004 and matched by Angela Stanford and Park Hee-young in 2013.

"I really feel, like, unreal," Kim said. "I never thought about shooting, like, 31-­under. I really feel incredible."

But the 25-year-old knew setting out on Sunday that she was within striking distance of the record, giving herself a goal of playing the final round without a bogey.

"I was feeling a little bit different than the third round because a little bit of ­pressure," Kim admitted. "I thought about how do you handle nerves today. Then I set my goals, just kept relaxed - ­except the last three holes I couldn't control the nerves because it was almost done, but I finished really good."

Kim's only blemish all week was a ­double bogey at the par-three 17th on ­Friday.

Her 32 holes of birdie or better were yet another record - improving on the 30 sub-par holes in a tournament achieved previously by three players.

Kim notched her seventh LPGA ­victory and her first since the Lorena Ochoa Match Play in Mexico last year. That victory had propelled her to eighth in the world, although she had slipped to 26th coming into the last week.

Kim said she'd never dreamed of such a record-setting week when she was young. But ever since she'd matched her childhood idol Sorenstam's 27-­under mark two years ago, she had "really ­wanted" the four-day scoring record to herself.

Kim finished nine strokes in front of Spain's Carlota Ciganda - whose eight-under 64 put her at 266.

Ciganda, 10-under through 17 holes, closed with a disappointing double bogey at 18, where her second shot disappeared in dense undergrowth near the green.

"It's unbelievable the way she played," said Ciganda, who finished two strokes in front of Sweden's Anna Nordqvist (67), South Korean Amy Yang (68) and ­American Emma Talley (67).

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