The 2019 LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship kicked off a career year for Sei Young Kim.
Not only did she prevail at Lake Merced Golf Club, defeating Jeongeun Lee6 and Bronte Law with birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff, but she collected two more victories that season, the fourth time in her seven-year LPGA Tour career that Kim earned multiple trophies.
“At the time in playoff with Jeongeun Lee6 and then Bronte Law, it was cold weather especially last two holes and when we played playoff,” said Kim, a 12-time LPGA Tour champion. “When you go to playoff, it feels very nervous and the cold weather, so, yeah, there is a lot of emotions. I have good memories.
“This week is my main sponsor [Mediheal] tournament, so I really want to play well. I’ll do my best this week and hopefully good energy, yeah.”
Kim ended 2019 by winning the CME Group Tour Championship to secure a $1.5 million winner’s share, the largest check in women’s golf history. Despite etching her name in the record books, Kim points to her MEDIHEAL Championship performance as a turning point on her professional journey.
“After winning this tournament, I got the good momentum and then I have a good confidence and I was able to play good through the end of the year,” Kim said, who is looking to earn her first win of 2021 this week. “So, 2019 was very special year to me because I win the biggest tournament, CME [Group Tour Championship]. Before the CME, I won many times, but there was no majors. When I won the last tournament, CME, I feel like I won a major tournament. I think starting here [at MEDIHEAL], this tournament win helped me a lot growing up as a player.”
Since missing the cut at the KIA Classic, Kim has earned two top-three finishes and hasn’t finished worse than T17. She will open her title defense in San Mateo County tomorrow at 8:10 a.m. PT off No. 10 tee alongside 2020/21 LPGA Tour rookie Leona Maguire and 2018 MEDIHEAL Championship winner Lydia Ko