Kim snares biggest prize in women's golf

South Korea's Sei Young Kim nailed a 25-foot birdie putt to claim the biggest prize in women's golf at the Tour Championship in Florida.

25-Nov-2019 By Australian Associated Press
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With the richest prize in women's golf history riding on the outcome, Sei Young Kim delivered the ultimate money putt.

Even if she didn't even know the score.

Kim was tied for the lead going to the final hole Sunday at the Tour Championship. The nerves were obvious as she missed each of four straight putts from 12 feet or closer.

Moments later, the 26-year-old South Korean took her place in LPGA Tour history.

Kim made the putt of her life, a 25-footer for birdie that broke sharply to the right and into the cup for a 2-under 70, a one-shot victory over hard-charging Charley Hull and a $US1.5 million ($A2.2 million) payoff.

"It means a lot to me just knowing that I won the biggest purse in women's golf history," said Kim, whose wire-to-wire win was her third of the year.

"That itself is an incredible honour."

Hull made her earn it.

Six shots behind going to the back nine at Tiburon Golf Club, Hull birdied five of her last seven holes, including the last three. Her 12-foot birdie on the 18th gave her a 66 and a share of the lead.

Kim was fully aware of the pressure she felt.

"I was really nervous while walking through hole 18," she said.

"I was like: 'OK, not a big deal. Try to play like a practice round,' thinking that would make me comfortable. Even then, I was really nervous."

Kim won for the 10th time in her LPGA career, joining Se Ri Pak (25), Inbee Park (19) and Jiyai Shin (11) as South Korean players with at least 10 victories.

This was memorable for the finish - and the prize.

Instead of a $US500,000 ($A736,000) first-place cheque and a $US1 million ($A1.5 million) bonus to a season points race, CME Globe wanted to award $US1.5 million ($A2.2 million) in official money to any of the 60 players who qualified for the season finale.

That's $US500,000 ($A736,000) more than the previous record prize, $US1 million ($A1.5 million) at the U.S. Women's Open.

Su Oh was the leading Australian at 13-under in a tie for sixth after she carded a 69.

Compatriots Katherine Kirk signed off with a 67 to be in a tie for 18 at 10-under; Australia's No.1 Minjee Lee faded to 55th at 5-over, one shot clear of Hannah Green in a share of 56th.


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