HSBC Women's World Championship
Hyo Joo Kim Wins Down-to-the-wire Thriller At Sentosa
Hyo Joo Kim became the sixth player from South Korea to lift the HSBC Women’s World Championship trophy after yet another dramatic finish at Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore.
Throughout the tournament dubbed ‘Asia’s Major’, Kim had on a full-face mask, hat and sunglasses because of a severe sun allergy rather than out of pandemic concerns, hiding her emotions from fellow competitors.
The lead frequently changed hands in the closing stages of the tournament as Kim, Inbee Park and Hannah Green jostled for position at the top of the leaderboard. Safe in the clubhouse, it was Kim’s final round of 64 that saw the 25-year old emerge victorious and end a five-year wait for her fouth LPGA Tour win.
“Winning after such a long time, it feels like my first win of all. It feels like a dream at this moment! I thought everybody had the opportunity to win. I didn’t make any mistakes on the front nine, and as I went to the back nine, I felt I might be able to win it.” said Kim, who finished at 17-under par.
The result was a blow to Green. An eagle on the par-four 14th saw the
Australian take the outright lead, and it looked as though she had a third LPGA win in the bag. But bogeys on both the 17th and 18th holes and round of 69 handed a one-shot victory to Kim, leaving Green to reflect on what might have been.
“I didn’t really feel like I was in it until I holed the shot on 14. That was a nice way to get my momentum. Made a really good putt on 16 to make birdie, but obviously pretty disappointed to have two 3-putts finishing. Felt a little nerves on the last, which is nice, because I guess having the spectators out there it kind of meant something to me.” said Green.
While undoubtably getting closer, overnight leader Xiyu Lin’s quest for a maiden tournament win continues. A graduate of the CGA-HSBC China Junior Golf programme and a sponsor invite to this year’s tournament, her third place finish is testament to the impact the programme continues to have on golf development in China.
“I’m very grateful for what I’ve done. If you told me at the beginning of the week, I’m going to do that well, like finish top three, I’ll be like, ‘are you kidding’,” said Lin.
Patty Tavatanakit saved her best until last. After a modest start to the week, the 21-year old major winner from Bangkok played herself right into contention on the final day. Her round of seven under par 65 saw her join Lin in a share of third place.
Also in third place is Inbee Park who was in imperious form as she challenged for a third title in Singapore but dropped shots on the 13th and 16th holes saw the lead get away from her. Closing with a birdie on the last, she signed for two under par 70.