Kim secures maiden LPGA win

Korean rookie Sei Young Kim claimed her maiden LPGA Tour victory in just her second attempt on Sunday morning in the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.

“It’s definitely a dream. I’m really happy. Since 10 years ago it’s what I’ve dreamed of,” Kim told the LPGA Tour website.

“I joined the LPGA in hopes of making the Korean Olympics team, and this is one step towards that, so this means a lot to me,” said Kim.

The 22-year-old missed the cut in her first LPGA outing at the Coates Golf Championship last week and had fairly unremarkable start to competition this week when she carded a three-under 70 in Thursday’s first round.

She bounced back in the second round by carding a five under-68, and managed to stay in title contention despite a one-under 72 in the third round on Saturday.

Kim carded her second 68 Sunday’s final round, firing five birdies to finish on 14-under and tied for first with compatriot Sung Young Yoo and Thailand’s Ariya Jutagarn.

She went on to seal victory by birdying the 18th hole for the second time in a matter of minutes.

The victory means Kim is projected to climb from 40 to 23 on the Rolex Rankings, boosting her chances of making the South Korean Olympic team.

New Zealand’s Lydia Ko has held on to first place in the rankings despite finishing tied for seventh, below South Koreas Inbee Park, who finished tied for fifth.

Park carded a one-under 72 in the final round to finish on 12-under, while Ko’s 68 saw her finish one shot back.

Ko expects the second-placed Park to overtake her after next week’s ISP Handa Australian Open.

“I think it’s only going to last for this week, but Inbee has played great and so have other girls. All I could do the last two days was just try my best and try and shoot a good score today,” she said

“I saw the news or like the projections and how it would change, but I didn’t really think about it. To me it was more important trying to make a lot of good putts and a lot of good birdies.”