Hyo Joo Kim was consuming a Pop-Tart in the participant lounge when she realized there could be no playoff. A few bogeys on the closing holes for Australia’s Hannah Green gave Kim a one-shot victory at the HSBC Women’s World Championship, her first LPGA title in 5 years.
Kim, who wore a white masks that prolonged down beneath her neckline due to a extreme solar allergy, closed with a scorching 64 to complete at 17-under 271. Australia’s Green (69) got here in solo second whereas Patty Tavatanakit, the wire-to-wire winner of the ANA Inspiration, completed with a 65 to maneuver right into a share of third with Inbee Park and China’s Xiyu Lin.
“Winning after such a long time,” mentioned Kim, “it feels like my first win of all. It feels like a dream at this moment.”
Kim, 25, burst onto the scene in 2014 when she captured her first LPGA title at the Amundi Evian Championship, carding a record-setting 10-under 61 in the primary spherical. She now owns 4 profession LPGA titles.
In 2020, Kim opted to remain again in South Korea and compete on the KLPGA, the place she performed in 14 occasions and received twice, together with the KB Financial Group STAR Championship, the ultimate main of the season. She topped the KLPGA cash checklist final season too.
Kim’s first begin to the 2021 LPGA season got here at the Kia Classic the place she tied for fifth.
“Last year playing at the KLPGA Tour definitely helped me this year,” mentioned Kim. “I worked out and did exercise a lot and that definitely helped me with distance, driving distance.”
Kim entered the week ninth in the Rolex Rankings and fourth on the South Korean Olympic crew, because it presently stands. The prime three gamers in the world are from South Korea (Jin Young Ko, Inbee Park and Sei Young Kim). A complete of 4 gamers could make the crew.
“I played at a couple of international tournaments as a Korean representative for like the junior Cups,” mentioned Kim, “so it means a lot to me that I would feel very proud and responsible with the Korean flag on my side, and I think it will give a huge impact on not only my golf life but my life in general.”
Green, who has been trending towards the winner’s circle for weeks, holed out for eagle on the 14th take a share of the lead. A few three-putts on the closing holes, nonetheless, dropped her all the way down to second.
“I don’t want to sound obnoxious,” mentioned Green, “but it is nice I’m not playing my best and getting these results. I’ve heard it’s a bit warmer in Thailand and a hillier course, so my No. 1 goal is to make sure that I make every round and make sure that I’m keeping hydrated. I feel like my driver was a little bit off this week, so if I can get that into gear, I feel like I can be up on top again.”
Speaking of Thailand, Tavatanakit heads again dwelling for the primary time since February 2020. The rookie returns as a significant champion on the heels of a bogey-free 65.
“I’m already confident with my game ever since ANA,” mentioned Tavatakanit, “and I feel like I can compete out there even more. If anything, I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, because next week, I know the course, I’ve played there. It’s my home country. Obviously, there’s a little bit more pressure because everyone wants me to play well, but you know, seeing what I can do out here and try to carry it on to next week, it’s going to be important.”