ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – This time there was no final hole drama, just a steady final round by golf’s newest major champion.
Five years after missing a one-foot putt on the 72nd hole to win the ANA Inspiration, In-Kyung Kim captured her first major title at the Ricoh Women’s British Open. Sunday afternoon, she stood on the first tee with a six-stroke lead. A near ace at the par three, first hole came to rest a foot away from the hole. This time, she confidently stepped up and knocked it in to extend her lead to seven.
A course record tying 64 from Jodi Ewart Shadoff wasn’t enough to catch Kim on Sunday, who posted a 71 to finish the week at 18-under par, one-stroke shy of Karen Stupples’ tournament record.
“I feel quite uplifted, I have to say because I really didn't expect to win this week. And having the lead and then going into the last round, was a great task,” said Kim. “I think I managed it quite well.”
Kim will have her music cranking tonight. A former pianist and music lover, her playlist includes mostly classical, but her favorite group is The Beatles. They started their journey to stardom not far from here, at Liverpool, a four-hour drive south of Kingsbarns Golf Links. Their lyrics have echoed in her heart as she’s worked through years of disappointment after that missed putt in the desert.
Hey, Jude, don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better
For six years, Kim went without a win on Tour. She turned to Vision 54 to help her work through the struggles she was still experiencing on the course, particularly learning to accept only what she could control on the course. The continual questions over the years about her putt made her disappointed and she began to not like herself. Away from golf, Kim turned to meditation and found comfort in those four boys from Liverpool, whose lyrics always seemed to embody what she experienced.
And anytime you feel the pain,
Hey, Jude, refrain
Don't carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it's a fool
Who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder
With her Beatles ball marker firmly affixed to her cap, she played through driving wind and rain to put on a record-stetting performance at Kingsbarns to earn her first major victory. Her 54-hole total of 17-under par (199) broke the previous record set by Ariya Jutanugarn last season. With her win, she also becomes the first three-time winner of 2017. Letting go of 2012 has opened up a world of opportunity for Kim, who is now realizing the potential she had all along.
“I think we judge ourselves a lot, everybody does. But for our own self, I think sometimes you've got to have some self-compassion and we can make some mistakes. But I hope that mistake will make a more positive impact in life instead of dwelling on it, on the past. If you think about it, I think present moment is more special.”
Then you'll begin to make it better, better, better, better, betterClick here for complete scores from the final round of the 2017 Ricoh Women's British Open.