Kim holds her nerves to stay perfect in play-offs

Kim Sei-young overcame a double-bogey, bogey start to Sunday's final round before regrouping to win the Mediheal Championship. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Kim Sei-young overcame a double-bogey, bogey start to Sunday's final round before regrouping to win the Mediheal Championship. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SAN FRANCISCO • Kim Sei-young birdied the first extra hole to win the LPGA Mediheal Championship on Sunday, improving her perfect play-off record to 4-0.

The South Korean overcame a dreadful start to the final round - a double-bogey at the first hole followed by a bogey at the next - biding her time before coming through at the end for her eighth victory on the LPGA Tour.

The sudden-death win added to her extra-hole victories in the 2016 Meijer Classic, 2015 Lotte Championship and 2015 Bahamas Classic.

A tap-in birdie at the par-five 18th for a three-over 75 and seven-under 281 total lifted her into a three-way play-off with compatriot Lee Jeong-eun and England's Bronte Law at Lake Merced.

The 15th-ranked Kim then birdied the same hole in the play-off, sinking a three-footer after her two rivals had missed from about double that distance.

Afterwards, she told the Golf Channel that her start "was really frustrating and bad" before digging deep for her eventual victory.

Kim, 25, said: "Even then, I try to keep going and focus. My position is (in the) last group, so all day I've got a lot of pressure."

Law had threatened to pull off a comeback for the ages after starting the day 10 strokes behind Kim.

She eagled the par-five 15th, shot 65, and then waited to see if her score was good enough to win.

It almost was, but first Lee came in with a 67, before Kim matched their total score.

On the PGA Tour, Max Homa endured an hour-long rain delay before closing out a three-stroke victory at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.

On his 69th career start, the long-shot silenced a battalion of big guns, including four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy, as he shot a four-under 67 at Quail Hollow to clinch his first Tour victory, finishing at 15-under 269. Homa, 28, who earned him a two-year Tour exemption, admitted his "whole world is a little bit different now".

Fellow American Joel Dahmen shot 70 to claim second on 12 under, one ahead of England's Justin Rose (68). McIlroy finished joint-eighth with a 73.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2019, with the headline 'Kim holds her nerves to stay perfect in play-offs'. Print Edition | Subscribe