It seemed all too fitting that Kim would win on Father’s Day as she dedicated her victory to her father who passed away three years ago.
It was a personal best day for Kim who had a blemish free scorecard at Hickory Point Golf Club with an impressive nine birdies.
“I had a really easy, steady day out there,” said Kim. “I hit 17 greens, I actually had all 17 birdie chances out there, It just came to me, it was a very easy birdie day.”
Kim came from behind on Sunday as she entered the day so far behind the leaders in a tie for 36th that she began the final round on the back-nine. The Langley, British Columbia native wasted no time inching her way up the leaderboard on Sunday as she recorded back-to-back birdies on the par-4 10th and par-5 11th then notched two consecutive birdies at the par-3 13th and par-5 14th.
“I’m leading,” said Kim a little skeptical after being told she held a 2-stroke lead. “I didn’t realize I’m leading, I haven’t looked at the leaderboard. After nine holes I looked at it and the leaders were on the first hole so I figured, I had no idea.”
Kim then cooled off a bit with routine pars until another birdie at the par-4 first moved her to 5-under for the day. Momentum continued to sway in Kim’s favor as she recorded back-to-back birdies at the par-3 fourth and par-4 fifth, then again at the par-3 seventh and par-4 eighth.
Kim headed to the final hole of the day with a two-stroke lead and calmly knocked-in a clutch 30-foot par saving putt to take the lead in the clubhouse.
Ending the day at 9-under-par and 10-under for the tournament, Kim had her sights immediately set on the Road to the LPGA’s next stop in South Bend, Ind. until she was made aware by the media that she held the tournament lead.
“I didn’t even see it until now,” said Kim. “You guys just told me so thank you for the good news. It feels great to make that par on the last hole.”
Forced to wait nearly two hours for the remaining groups to finish, Kim witnessed her lead begin to dwindle as Laura Kueny made a charge up the leaderboard.
“I watched the U.S. Open,” said Kim when asked what she did during the break. “I was in the pro shop watching the U.S. Open, trying not to think about what was happening because I didn’t want to be nervous thinking about what people are doing. I can’t do anything about it.”
The winner of this year’s Symetra Classic, Kueny failed to get in the red numbers on Sunday until she rattled off three consecutive birdies to join Kim atop the leaderboard at 10-under. Kueny then dropped out of the lead after a bogey at the par-3 17th but would quickly recover with a birdie at the par-4 18th after sticking her approach shot from the bunker to 12-feet.
“I made bogey on 17, I had a three putt, I have been struggling with the putter all day,” said Kueny. “I had nine straight pars the first nine then I told myself its go time on number 10 and I made four birdies and made things exciting.”
The duo headed back to the 370-yard par-4 18th for the first playoff hole where Kueny’s drive found the left rough and Kim’s landed in the center of the fairway. First to play, Kim knocked her approach shot to 5-feet while Kueny left herself with a tricky 35-footer for birdie.
In the second playoff this year on the Symetra Tour, Kueny missed her birdie putt leaving the door open for Kim as she calmly rolled-in the putt for her first Symetra Tour victory.
“My dad passed away three years ago,” said Kim after her win. “It’s Father’s Day so I want to dedicate my win to him.”