Sei Young Kim completed a virtuoso four-day performance at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic with a Sunday 7-under, 65 to win by nine shots. She finished at 31-under, 257 to shatter the 72-hole scoring record, which she previously owned along with Annika Sorenstam, who totaled a 27-under in 2001.
Kim, 25, authored the greatest four round stretch in the history of the LPGA. She turned in a 63 on Thursday, a 65 on Friday, a 64 on Saturday and her 65 on Sunday. She had just one sub-par hole all tournament.
Even with an eight shot lead entering the round, Kim never let her foot off the gas pedal. She made birdie on one and was off to the races. At the sixth hole, she made a 12-foot birdie to match the 27-under mark. Then, at No. 9, she hit a brilliant approach to 5-feet and just missed her eagle, but tapped in for birdie to get to 28-under. She cruised from there with three more birdies.
The affable Kim is the 17th different player to win during the 2018 season and is the sixth player from Korea to win. It's her seventh career victory and first this season.
She needed a week like this.
She was ranked as high as number eight in the world last year after her win in Mexico and has struggled for much of 2018. She came into the week ranked 26 in the Rolex rankings, but broke out in beyond impressive fashion.
She did it all with both mom and dad in attendance.
Carlota Ciganda finished in second at 22-under while Anna Nordqvist, Emma Talley and Amy Yang tied for third at 20-under.
Ciganda Finishes Strong in Second Place
Carlota Ciganda entered the day in a tie for sixth and exploded up the leaderboard with seven birdies over her first 12 holes to get into second place. She would tack on three more birdies including a 12-footer on 17, one of the toughest holes on the course, and finished at 22-under. The only blemish of her round was a double bogey on 18.
Despite the mistake off the tee on 18, she carded an 8-under, 64 on Sunday.
"When I came they told me that you have to shot a low score here, so I tried my best, tried to fire at all the pins and make as many putts as I could," said Ciganda. If someone plays better, just congrats and nothing I can do. It's unbelievable the way she (Sei Young) played."
It's her second top five in her last four starts and her third top 10 of the year.
Ciganda will take next week off and head home to Spain to get ready for the Scottish and British.
A Statement from Team England
Team Republic of Korea and Team USA will be the favorites in a few months at the UL International Crown. However, in the first tournament since the players were officially unveiled, it was Team England, the number four seed, that made a strong statement at Thornberry Creek.
Bronte Law made a 12-foot curling left-to-right putt on 18 for birdie to get up to 18-under.
"I made a really good up and down on 17 and then to stick it close on 18 to give myself an opportunity was great," said Law. "My best finish to date is seventh and I'm hoping I beat that. I was playing really good golf at KPMG and have just carried it over to this week."
Law finished sixth.
Her Team England teammates also had great results. Georgia Hall finished at 17-under, Jodi Ewart Shadoff also totaled 17-under while Charley Hull was 13-under.
"It just shows that there is plenty of talent on the team," said Law. "We can go low and I think that's great. For match play, it's a course like this where you have to make birdies. I knew the team was more than capable anyway, but this just clarifies the selection."
Law will take next week off and get ready for the Scottish and the British.
Maria Torres with 'Tiger-style' Fist Pump on 18
Maria Torres of Puerto Rico rolled in a left-to-right breaking 25-footer for birdie on the 18th to finish at 17-under for the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. The tie for seventh is the best finish of her career. In addition, the 17-under marks the first time in her career, amateur, college or professional, that she has finished in double figures.
"It's an amazing feeling, I haven't had the best season that I wished for," said the rookie, who has made just five cuts. "I kept the pressure off this week. I just told myself to go out there and play golf. The other tournaments, I have put so much pressure on myself about the money and the rankings."
Torres made seven birdies against just one bogey for her 66 on Sunday.
"I wanted to end with a Tiger-sytle fist pump," said the always smiling and laughing Torres about the putt on 18. "This gives me a lot of confidence, but I still need to keep working hard because next week is a new tournament. I'm excited, hopefully this is beginning of more great scores."