Sei Young Kim wins Women’s PGA Championship

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. — Sei Young Kim lined up for the putt on the 18th hole that would seal her first LPGA major championship and somehow missed by inches. One member of the gallery — in this instance, roughly 75 officials, photographers and course stragglers — even said “she made it.”

Not quite.

The 27-year-old South Korean laughed off the rare misstep, tapped in the winner and shed the unwelcome label of winningest golfer on the tour without a major. Kim raised her arms “Rocky” style, hugged her caddie and, at last, was a major champion.

Kim chewed up Aronimink Golf Club in record style, tying a tournament record by shooting 7-under-par 63 on Sunday to win the Women’s PGA Championship. She was five strokes better than runner-up Inbee Park.

“I’m actually really hiding my tears at the moment,” Kim said as she stood next to the trophy.

Kim’s dominance was in plain sight. She finished at 14-under 266, a record for the championship.

Kim, who earned her 11th LPGA victory, got the championship push rolling when she matched a tournament record with a 29 on the front nine Friday. She never really slowed down.

She was, Park said, “really untouchable.”

Park, a three-time winner of this championship, shot 5-under 65. Park won the Women’s PGA Championship in 2015, and Kim was in the first group of people on the course to celebrate with her.

Five years later, it was Kim’s time to hoist the trophy.

Kim, a 2016 Olympian, was runner-up at the 2015 Women’s PGA Championship and tied for second at the Evian Championship in 2018. She held the 54-hole lead at a major once, at the 2015 ANA Inspiration, where she finished in a tie for fourth.

“I won’t lie, I did feel the pressure starting last night,” Kim said. “I actually arrived about 30 minutes later than I normally do at the golf course. I really tried to stay composed during the tournament, during the round, and I’m happy that I got it done.”

Dan Gelston is an Associated Press writer.

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