Planet Golf — 18 March 2016 by GW staff and news services
Kim makes LPGA history in the desert

PHOENIX — Sei Young Kim turned an anticipated Sunday shootout into a record-tying blowout.

The 23-year-old South Korean player matched Annika Sorenstam’s LPGA Tour scoring record of 27 under, closing with a 10-under 62 at Desert Ridge for a five-stroke victory in the JTBC Founders Cup.

Sorenstam set the mark in 2001 at nearby Moon Valley, shooting a record 59 in the second round. Kim also matched the tournament record of 62 set Thursday by Mi Hyang Lee.

Kim missed a chance to break the marks when her 18-foot birdie try on the par-4 18th slid left.

The LPGA Tour rookie of the year last year after winning three times, Kim opened a six-stroke lead with an eagle on the par-5 11th and easily held off top-ranked Lydia Ko. Kim’s four LPGA Tour victories have come in a 31-event span.

After two late bogeys Saturday left Kim a stroke behind third-round leader Eun-Hee Ji, she played the first 11 holes in 7 under on another hot, perfect day at Wildfire Golf Club.

Kim reduced the drama to the scoring-record chase with the eagle on No. 11, hitting a 5-wood from 241 yards to 3 feet. She birdied the par-4 13th, par-5 15th and par-4 16th — hitting to 2 feet — and saved par with a 7-footer on the par-3 17th.

Ko made four straight birdies on the back nine in a 65.

Jacqui Concolino, playing alongside Kim, was third at 20 under after a 68.

Stacy Lewis had a disappointing finish to stretch her victory drought to 44 events. Tied for second with Kim entering the round, the Texan three-putted from 5 feet for a double bogey on the par-3 fourth and shot a 70 to tie for fourth at 19 under. She won the event in 2013 and finished second the previous two years.

Lewis switched putters after an opening 70, going to a prototype model called the Happy Putter. It lived up to the name the next two days in rounds of 65 and 64, but produced few smiles Sunday.

Ji (71) also tied for fourth with 18-year-old Canadian Brooke Henderson (67), Megan Khang (66) and Paula Creamer (68).

U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Hannah O’Sullivan tied for 33rd at 13 under after a 67. The 17-year-old amateur is a high school senior in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler.

 

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