Oahu, Hawaii (SportsNetwork.com) – Sei Young Kim chipped in for par on the
72nd hole Saturday to force a playoff, then holed her second shot for eagle on
the first extra hole to defeat Inbee Park and win the LOTTE Championship.
Kim, who led by one entering the final round, closed with a 1-over 73. She
ended at 11-under-par 277 and was joined there by Park, who carded a 1-under
71 in the final round at Ko Olina Golf Club.
At the par-4 18th in regulation, Kim’s drive landed in the short grass and
took a hard bounce, then ran through the fairway and into the water. After
taking her drop, she missed the green left with her third.
Park, from the rough just short of the water, played her second about 60 feet
from the hole. She lagged her birdie putt within inches of the hole, then
marked her ball.
Kim holed her par chip to force the playoff.
“I tried to only focus on getting the ball to the hole because I didn’t have
(much) of a chance,” said Sei Young Kim.
In the extra session, both Kim and Park hit shorter tee shots on the 18th,
which served as the playoff hole. Kim, playing first, barely cleared the water
with her second, but her ball took a couple bounces and landed in the hole for
Park left her approach shot short to give Kim her second title of the season.
“I don’t believe what happened there. It’s still unbelievable,” Sei Young Kim
I.K. Kim bogeyed the final two holes to close out her 2-over 74. She ended
alone in third at minus-9. Hyo Joo Kim (69) and Chella Choi (72) shared fourth
place at 7-under 281.
Sei Young Kim birdied the first to push her lead to two strokes. However, she
bogeyed the second and double-bogeyed the third to tumble to minus-10, where
she trailed by one.
Park traded a birdie for a bogey from the first, while I.K. Kim parred the
first four holes. She birdied the fifth to move to 12-under, where she was one
ahead of Sei Young Kim and Park.
Park birdied the sixth to move to 12-under, while I.K. Kim 3-putted for
double-bogey on the same hole to fall two back. Sei Young Kim bogeyed No. 7 to
also dip two behind.
I.K. Kim got within one with a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 8. Sei Young Kim
rolled in a 7-footer for birdie at 11, while Park tripped to a bogey at the
11th. That created a 3-way tie for the lead at 11-under.
Park had several chances to move ahead over the final seven holes. She missed
two birdie putts inside six feet, and missed a 14-foot birdie try as well.
Park and Sei Young Kim parred the final seven holes to force the playoff.
I.K. Kim faltered to a 3-putt bogey at 17, then found sand with her approach
at the 18th. From a tough lie, she failed to get up and down for par to fall
two shots short of the extra session.
NOTES: Sei Young Kim became the first player with two wins this season …
Last year’s winner Michelle Wie closed with back-to-back 73s to end in a tie
for 11th at 3-under-par 285 … The LPGA Tour heads to California next week
for the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, where world No. 1 Lydia Ko will defend