PHOENIX – Kim Sei-young turned an anticipated Sunday shootout into a record-tying blowout.
The 23-year-old South Korean player matched Annika Sorenstam’s LPGA Tour scoring record of 27 under, closing with a 10-under 62 at Desert Ridge for a five-stroke victory in the JTBC Founders Cup.
“It’s a dream come true,” Kim said. “I scored 10 under. It’s my best score ever, ever.”
Sorenstam set the mark in 2001 at nearby Moon Valley, shooting a record 59 in the second round. Kim also matched the tournament record of 62 set Thursday by Lee Mi-hyang.
Kim missed a chance to break the marks when her 18-foot birdie try on the par-4 18th slid left.
“Congratulations to Sei Young on her outstanding play this week,” Sorenstam said from Tahoe, Nevada. “I thought she was going to make that last putt. It’s hard to believe it’s only her second year on the LPGA.”
Kim opened a six-stroke lead with an eagle on the par-5 11th and easily held off top-ranked Lydia Ko.
“She just was real calm and just played within herself all day,” caddie Paul Fusco said. “The momentum was going and she just kept riding it.”
Kim won last season in the Bahamas, Hawaii and China and was the LPGA Tour rookie of the year. Her four tour victories have come in a 31-event span. She will jump from seventh to fifth in the world ranking, putting her in the second position for South Korea’s four-woman Olympic team.