Hyo Joo Kim Wins Season Opener the Pure Silk LPGA Bahamas Classic
Hyo Joo Kim outpaced her competitors on Sunday to get the LPGA’s 2016 season off to an impressive start. Kim carded a final-round 66 to win the Pure Silk LPGA Bahamas Classic.
The 20-year old emerged triumphant from a Sunday shootout that saw three players, Stacy Lewis, Sei Young Kim, and Anna Nordqvist finish one shot behind her and three more, Pornanung Phatlum, Paula Creamer, and Ilhee Lee wind up just two shots off the pace.
Kim herself finished the 72 holes at 18-under par 274 after closing with a 7-under par 66. It was her third LPGA win and it’s worth noting that the other two came in big events; the 2014 Evian Championship, and the 2015 Founders Cup, which, in our view, is just as significant as a major.
“I said my goals coming into today was top 10,” she said through an interpreter, “but obviously it turned out I won, so I’m really happy about that.”
Lewis, who played just behind Kim, placed second for the seventh time since the start of last season, finished with a 68 and actually had a chance to tie Kim when she came to the final hole. But her second shot to the par-5 finisher came up short of the green and she failed to chip in for eagle.
“You know you needed to shoot a number,” Lewis said. Just got off to a bit of a slow start. Making bogey on eight really hurt, but proud of the way I came back on the back nine and gave myself a chance.”
There was more at stake for Kim than the $210,000 winner’s check. She’s expected to move three spots, from 10th to seventh in the newest Role world rankings that will determine who will compete in the International Crown and the Olympic Games later this year.
A maximum of four players will represent any one country in those events’ based on the ratings projections the Korean team would consist of Inbee Park (ranked second in the world), Sei Young Kim (fifth), So Yeon Ryu (sixth) and Hyu Joo Kim (seventh).