When Sei Young Kim hit her fourth birdie putt in 5 holes on the seventeenth gap throughout the remaining spherical of the KPMG Girls’s PGA Championship at Aronimink Golf Course, she sealed her destiny.
The 27-year-old South Korean flashed an enormous smile, however then instantly returned to a decided gaze. She nonetheless had one gap left to play. One gap till she grew to become a first-time main winner.
After securing the cope with a brief par putt on 18, Kim raised each her palms within the air, fist-pumping towards the sky. Kim shot a 7-under 63, ending 14-under 266. That calm composure was wiped away with a smile, illustrating simply how monumental this second was for the Seoul native.
For the 10-time profession winner, the second had lastly come. “I really feel so emotional,” Kim mentioned after claiming her eleventh win and first main on Sunday. “It is a dream come true. I am ready for some time to achieve my largest objective to win a serious match, so I am very glad to win the primary main match on the KPMG.”
When Kim birdied 5 of her remaining six holes at Aronimink on Friday throughout the second spherical, she took the lead. However the leaderboard was stacked. Jennifer Kupcho, Danielle Kang, Carlota Ciganda and Anna Nordqvist had been all one stroke again. All through the complete weekend, the depth of the LPGA’s expertise was on full show because the top-10 seemingly fluctuated with each putt.
On Sunday, Kim began out two strokes forward of Brooke Henderson and Nordqvist and three strokes forward of LPGA tour Corridor of Famer Inbee Park. All through the ultimate spherical, Park crept up on Kim and threatened her maintain over Aronimink. However, even the 20-time winner, in search of her eighth main and fourth KPMG Girls’s PGA Championship victory, could not overtake Kim. Simply 5 years in the past, Park defeated then-rookie Kim on the KPMG PGA Championship. Park gained her sixth main that day, and Kim the runner-up, received a style of what it meant to be on prime of the leaderboard.
“Sei Younger was simply actually untouchable,” Park mentioned on the information convention. “She positively deserves a serious win. It actually jogs my memory of 2015 once we went head-to-head on the ultimate day and it was simply the alternative in the present day.”
This season, each Germany’s Sophia Popov and South Korea’s Mirim Lee discovered first-time main wins on the British Open and the ANA Inspiration, respectively. Heading into the KPMG, Popov mentioned she wasn’t “stunned about any of the women profitable this week.” And added, “It simply speaks to the depth of the sphere and the way good everyone seems to be now, and everyone seems to be able to profitable. That is why not the identical particular person wins each week.”
It is no shock that first-time main winners have grow to be extra normalized on tour. Kim’s win on the KPMG made her the ninth first-time main winner from the previous 10 majors. The leaderboards replicate the depth of world expertise on the most important stage. With the LPGA composed of over 125 worldwide members representing over 30 nations, each match offers a brand new alternative to showcase this area’s expertise. On the KPMG, the highest 10 (and ties) represented 9 nations. On the ANA Inspiration, the highest 10 (and ties) represented seven nations. And on the British Open, the highest 10 (and ties) represented six nations. As the ladies’s sport grows, so does the expertise on the highest degree.
In a time when society is holding up a vital (and positively warranted) gentle to the sport of golf, the ladies’s sport continues to show the worldwide variety of golf. Though the LPGA is flush with worldwide expertise, there’s nonetheless progress available, particularly for Black and African girls. There’s all the time room to additional open up that leaderboard.
First-time main winners like Kim exemplify that the expertise will comply with as the ladies’s sport grows and prospers globally. That enlargement will encourage a era of golfers that replicate our world. And it is a good factor for ladies’s golf.