IN-KYUNG KIM OUTLASTS THE FIELD FOR FOURTH CAREER WIN
In-Kyung Kim (-24) shot a final round 66 and finished one-shot ahead of fellow South Korean Mi Jung Hur (-23) to win the Reignwood LPGA Classic in the first tournament of the Tour’s Asian swing.
Kim became the sixth South Korean player to win on Tour in 2016 and earned her first LPGA victory since the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Her four-day total of 24-under par is the lowest of her career, besting her previous low by four strokes.
“I’m happy with how I played today,” Kim said. “I’ve made many -- I mean, I had to make decisions. There was couple really difficult decisions, but I think kind of I wasn’t really thinking about three shot behind or how many shots I was behind. I knew I had to play my best golf out here, and I just wanted to do that.”
Kim’s clutch eagle on the par-5 16th proved to be the difference as she went 4-under in her final four holes. She noted that in order to win she needed to be aggressive and only worry about the things under her own control.
“I think I managed,” said Kim. “I played aggressively, which I had to on this golf course. And especially back nine I knew that everybody was going to score, so I wanted to do the same thing. But the thing is I can’t really control the result but I give my best.”
The 28-year-old became the third oldest winner on the LPGA Tour in 2016 behind Anna Nordqvist (29) and Brittany Lang (30).
Mi Jung Hur mounted a late charge with birdies on five of her last six holes but was unable to catch her playing partner in the end. She picked up her second runner-up of the season in Beijing this week.
“The problem was I start today’s round with two bogeys on first two holes, which is very frustrating” Hur said. “But I made four birdies on final five so I’m pretty satisfied with my round today.“
Defending champion Mirim Lee made the top-3 an all Korean affair and finished at 22-under par. China’s Shanshan Feng and Canada’s Brooke Henderson tied for fourth place at -21.
SEPTEMBER TO REMEMBER
No golfer had a better month of September and early October than In-Kyung Kim. After winning the Ladies European Masters in Germany on the Ladies European Tour by five strokes, Kim matched her season-best with a sixth place finish at The Evian Championship followed by this week’s victory at Reignwood Pine Valley.
“I’ve worked really hard” Kim explained of her recent success. “I cannot really control the results, but I feel like last past three, four weeks that I been scoring really well I feel like I’m improving and growing. Physically I’m stronger than year before, but it took a while to get fit and things.”
HUR WINS RED BULL FINAL FIVE CHALLENGE
Mi Jung Hur was the winner of the $50,000 prize in this year’s Red Bull Final Five Challenge. The 5-hole challenge awarded the player with the lowest cumulative score in relation to par for tournament holes 14-18 throughout the week.
“I’m definitely happy,” said Hur. “So exciting to play those five holes, like short par-5 and short par-5, chance to eagle. So I made two eagles on second round. Anyway, it was very exciting. It was good experience.”