Kim A-lim wins her first major KLPGA title
Kim A-lim took a back-from-behind victory to win her first major KLPGA title at the CreaS F&C The 44th KLPGA Championship on Sunday.
Kim A-lim started out the first KLPGA major of the season tied in fifth position carding a 68 on the first day, then fell two steps behind at a tied seventh position on the second day carding a 69.
She kept her form into the third round carding a 68 stepping up to a tied fourth position on moving day. Then her two-under-par, 70 on Sunday put her on top with an overall score of 12-under-par, 276, three strokes over Lee Ga-young.
This is Kim A-lim's third career KLPGA title. After turning professional in 2013, Kim A-lim played on the second tier Dream Tour until 2015 where she won four titles. She joined the top tier in 2016 where she recorded three top-10 finishes in her rookie season. She won her first title in September of 2018 at the OKSavingsBank Se Ri Pak Invitational and her second at the MY Munyoung Queens Park Championship in July of 2019.
Then in 2020, she burst onto the international scene with a Cinderella run at the U.S. Women's Open, a major tournament in the LPGA Tour.
Her win at the 2020 U.S. Open and this week's win at the KLPGA Championship may prove that Kim A-lim is strong at major events in bad weather. In 2020, when she won the U.S. Women's Open, the event was held in December as it was postponed from June due to Covid-19. Players had to fight through inclement weather conditions in every round to the extent that the United States Golf Association (USGA) had to postpone the final round by a day.
The cold weather and tough schedule didn't stop Kim from lifting her first-ever KLPGA major trophy on Sunday, the way that the weather did not stop her from winning her first LPGA major trophy.
Unlike Kim, fellow LPGA golfer Kim Hyo-joo seemed to have been completely thrown off by the strong winds at Ildong Lake.
Kim Hyo-joo topped the first three rounds and started the final round looking for a wire-to-wire victory but crashed, carding a seven-over-par on the last round to an overall score of six-under-par, 282.
Kim Hyo-joo started out the first round on top carding seven birdies. Her bogeyless streak continued until par-4 14th on the second round when she carded her first bogey of the match. But Kim Hyo-joo was able to make up for that bogey on the second-to-last hole with a birdie on the par-4 17th, holding onto a one-shot lead over Kim Su-ji who carded six birdies and two bogies on the second round.
On moving day, Kim Hyo-joo carded four birdies and seemed to add another bogeyless round until the very last par-3 18th when she slipped and bogied.
It seemed the strong winds at Ildong Lake had an affect on Kim Hyo-joo's play in the final round. Despite going into the final round on top, Kim Hyo-joo's form started to waver in the par-3 seventh, making a crucial putting mistake that led to her first bogie of the day.
Even though she was able to quickly comeback, birdying the next par-5 eighth, Kim A-lim caught up with Kim Hyo-joo's score on par-5 eighth. Kim Hyo-joo was completely thrown off balance, adding a bogey on par-4 10th, a double bogey on par-4 11th then a triple bogey on par-4 14th, falling four strokes behind Kim A-lim. In the end, Kim Hyo-joo carded an over all six-under-par, 292, six strokes behind Kim A-lim.
Kim A-lim spends most of her time on the LPGA Tour. After last competing in the LPGA Tour's LOTTE Championship on April 13 where Kim Hyo-joo won the trophy, she and Kim Hyo-joo jetted in from the United States to play their first KLPGA event of the season.
The KLPGA Tour continues on Thursday with the 8th Kyochon Honey Ladies Open.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]