Sei Young Kim returned to the winner’s circle at the Marathon Classic on Sunday after a closing six-under-par 65 saw her finish two strokes clear of Lexi Thompson.
Starting with a birdie at the second, Kim proceeded to catch fire midway through her round, making five straight birdies starting from the eighth to seize the tournament by the scruff of the neck.
Another birdie followed at the 15th, and even though she gave that shot straight back with her only bogey of the day at 16, she had already done enough to secure her second LPGA Tour victory of the season.
HIGHLIGHTS ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/CkxxJKd5fM
— LPGA (@LPGA) July 15, 2019
“I really wanted another win, especially this week, because the last two weeks I play really bad,” said Kim, who finished with a tournament-record 22-under 262 total.
Thompson started the day a shot behind Kim, but left herself with too much to do down the stretch, and not even a spectacular birdie-eagle finish for a closing 66 was enough to deny the champion.
Kim is now looking ahead to the final two majors of the year, the Evian Championship and Women’s British Open.
"I get confidence from this tournament win, so hopefully make good results in the next two major tournaments."@SY_KIM_lpga hopes to use the momentum from today's win to propel her through the European major tournaments. pic.twitter.com/ipvXCjQkpO
— LPGA (@LPGA) July 14, 2019
“I haven’t had a win the major tournament yet,” she said. “I think I try too much when I play the major tournament. I just play the same as regular tournament, even major. … Just let it go. Let it happen.”
Stacy Lewis, from nearby Toledo, was third at 16 under after a 66.
“It was a lot of fun,” said the former World No 1, who has struggled for form in recent seasons. “More putts have gone in this week than in the years past. It was nice to give my family something to cheer for.”
US Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6 finished fourth on 14 under after a 69.
Jennifer Kupcho (71), Linnea Strom (65), Tiffany Joh (67), Caroline Masson (68) and Pavarisa Yoktuan (69) tied for fifth on 11 under to all earn their places in the Women’s British Open.
Scotland’s Connor Syme and Englishman Matthew Jordan were also part of the successful quintet.
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Close House Golf Club, near Newcastle, will host the British Masters on July 22.
The event was last staged in 2002.
The tournament at Close House, scheduled to start on July 30, is set to be the first European Tour event since the coronavirus crisis halted action.
The world number one believes it would be the ‘right call’ to push the event back to 2021.
The exhibition match, against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady, raised 20 million dollars.
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