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South Korea's Kimtakes four-shot LPGA lead
11 July 2018, 10:17 | Charlene Valdez
STACY REVERE GETTY IMAGES
Lydia Ko struggled for accuracy in the final round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
South Korea's Kim Sei-young broke the LPGA Tour's 72-hole record as she won the Thornberry Creek Classic with a 31-under-par score.
Including her final round of 63 at this event previous year, Kim has now played her last 72 holes at Thornberry Creek in 33 under par and her 7th LPGA Tour title now appears but a formality.
BC-GLF-LPGA Tour, 3rd Ld-Writethru, 433Sei Young Kim sets 54-hole mark at 24 under at LPGA ClassicAP Photo WIAPP323, WIAPP325, WIAPP322, WIAPP326, WIAPP328, WIAPP327, WIAPP330Eds: Clarifies that Kim shares 72-hole record with Sorenstam.
With Kim entering the final round holding an eight-shot lead, the only question was whether she would continue to tear up Thornberry Creek's Legends Championship Course to overtake the LPGA record in relation to par. She had 31 birdies and one eagles, and hit 67 out of 72 greens in regulation.
Hataoka, who narrowly lost the Women's PGA Championship last Sunday in a three-person playoff, nearly canceled out seven birdies with a double bogey and then a quadruple bogey on No. 17. Varner needed to make a birdie on either No. 17 or 18 to get there, but he parred both holes. "I still don't have enough experience", Hataoka said.
The 21-year-old Kiwi had teed off on Monday (NZT) in a share of third on 15 under - nine shots behind the Korean - but never came to grips with things over the final round as she posted a one-over 73 to fade to a tie for 23rd.
During her first season on the LPGA Tour, Kim won three tournaments to earn the Tour's Rookie of the Year award. "I'm excited, hopefully this is beginning of more great scores". Carlota Giganda of Spain went into attack mode with five birdies on each side to sit and -10 for the day with a chance to break the single round record at Thornberry.
Knox, who tied for second at the French Open last week, goes to No. 5 in the Race to Dubai and will get back into the top 50 in the world.
"I was seven shots behind the leader on Thursday and I shot 6-under and I was still seven shots behind", Ko said.
Defending champion Jon Rahm tied for fourth, while tournament host Rory McIlroy closed with a 71 and tied for 28th. She cruised from there with three more birdies. The tie for seventh is the best finish of her career. The victory was worth $108,000 and moved him from 101st to 24th on the money list.
Kim began the final round with an 8 shot lead and wound up winning by nine in collecting the unique Sky Woman trophy.
"It doesn't feel too dramatic actually", said Liu, who added seven birdies in a bogey-free round.