Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Kim smashes LPGA scoring record to win Thornberry Classic

Lydia Ko struggled for accuracy in the final round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic STACY REVERE GETTY IMAGES Lydia Ko struggled for accuracy in the final round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
Shannon Reynolds | 11 July, 2018, 15:49

SEI YOUNG KIM destroyed the LPGA Tour scoring record when she won the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic with a staggering total of 257 - 31 under par.

Kim Sei-young reads the line of her putt during the final round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic at Thornberry Creek at Oneida, Wisconsin on Sunday.

Kim will take aim at Sorenstam's 72-hole record of 27-under par, set at the Standard Register Ping in 2001 in Phoenix. She would tack on three more birdies including a 12-footer on 17, one of the toughest holes on the course, and finished at 22-under. The answer was yes, her tee shot on the par 3, 17th on Friday which led to a double bogey, the only hole she played above par in four rounds.

"Front nine, I just couldn't get one to drop, and back nine, hit lots of good putts and, again, nothing happened", Kirk said after her round that included 33 putts. I was very patient. But after the major tournament, I realised, 'OK, I can do that.' If I imagine, it comes true.

Victory at Oneida never seemed in doubt for Kim, who collected $300,000 in prize money having held the lead after her second round of 65.

Lydia Ko, who holed a wedge on the par-5 15th, was tied for third with Anna Nordqvist and Emma Talley at 15 under.

Defending champion Katherine Kirk, who has been unable to follow up on her 10-under 62 from Thursday, is one of five players at 14 under. "Then I set my goals, just kept relaxed - except the last three holes I couldn't control the nerves because it was nearly done, but I finished really good". The 32 holes under par are another record, breaking the mark of 30 set by Brittany Lincicome, Gerina Pillar and Lexi Thompson, all three at the 2017 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. During the final round, Kim showed outstanding accuracy with her iron shots, with a Greens in Regulation percentage of 94.4.

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Kim said she didn't expect to be nervous as she chased the record - and a seventh LPGA title. "It's unbelievable the way she (Sei Young) played".

"I really feel, like, unreal", Kim said.

I caught up with Talley after her career best finish on tour.

Kim is the 17th different player to win during the 2018 season and is the sixth player from Korea to win. "This gives me a lot of confidence, but I still need to keep working hard because next week is a new tournament".

No one had a chance Sunday.

During her first season on the LPGA Tour, Kim won three tournaments to earn the Tour's Rookie of the Year award.

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