Fit-again Kim elated with ShopRite win

Kim In Kyung beat two-time defending champion Anna Nordqvist.
Kim In Kyung beat two-time defending champion Anna Nordqvist.

NEW YORK • Some six months after a Dustin Johnson-like fall on a staircase, South Korean golfer Kim In Kyung produced a near-flawless final round in tough conditions to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic by two strokes over Anna Nordqvist in New Jersey on Sunday.

She pulled away with a closing two-under 69 for a comfortable victory at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway.

She finished at 11-under 202 for her fifth LPGA victory, while Swede Nordqvist also shot 69 to finish nine-under, coming up short in her bid for a third successive victory at the event.

Kim said that her win came earlier than she had expected in the wake of her injury-enforced break.

"I really prepared for this summer and I really didn't expect it right away, but I knew my game was better than last year, so that's really all I could ask for," the 28-year-old said.

She added that she had been "pretty nervous" because of the testing breeze, and also because her threesome was being timed for slow play on several holes.

Kim is the 13th different player and the seventh from South Korea to win at 13 LPGA events this year.

Runner-up Nordqvist said a cold putter had prevented her from a better run at Kim.

"I couldn't really make the putts yesterday and today when it mattered, but I'm really proud of myself," she said.

American Paula Creamer, who started the final round tied for the lead with Kim, faded with five bogeys in a 74, five shots back.

The week also saw Lydia Ko's long reign as world No. 1 come to an end although the New Zealander did not tee it up in New Jersey. Neither did Ariya Jutanugarn, but the Thai was assured of supplanting Ko when South Korea's Ryu So Yeon failed to make the cut on Friday.

Ariya is now the 10th player to become world No. 1 since the women's rankings were introduced in 2006 and also the first from South-east Asia.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2017, with the headline 'Fit-again Kim elated with ShopRite win'. Print Edition | Subscribe