Kim beats out Lewis to nab her third LPGA victory

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Kim beats out Lewis to nab her third LPGA victory

HAINAN ISLAND, China - Kim Sei-young made a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th for a one-stroke victory Sunday in the Blue Bay LPGA.

The 22-year-old Korean player won for the third time in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour, closing with a 2-under 70 at difficult Jian Lake Blue Bay for a 2-under 286 total.

“I was really nervous,” Kim said. “I just focus and, when I hit the putt, I couldn’t believe it.”

After high wind sent scores soaring the first three days, the players faced only a moderate breeze on a rainy afternoon along the South China Sea.

Third-ranked Stacy Lewis, fellow American Kim Kaufman and Taiwan’s Candie Kung finished a stroke back. Kim holed her winning putt after playing partners Lewis and Kung missed birdie tries - Lewis from 20 feet and Kung from 10.

Lewis finished with a 70 for her sixth runner-up finish of the season and the 21st of her career. She won the last of her 11 LPGA Tour titles in June 2014. “She is one of my favorite players, so I’m very honored to play with her,” Kim said about Lewis.

Kung shot a 71. Kaufman, playing a group ahead, had a 69 for the best round of the day.

Kim, the five-time Korea LPGA winner, earned $300,000 to move up a spot to fourth on the money list with $1,727,436 and is projected to jump from 11th to eighth in the world. AP

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