Kim smashes LPGA scoring record to win Thornberry Classic


Sei Young Kim watched her 12-foot birdie putt break toward the hole and disappear into the cup, putting her in territory no one had ever been on the LPGA Tour.

"I never thought about it when I was young, about the course record", Kim was quoted as saying on the LPGA website. After that I really wanted the record for four days. Her approach was well short of the hole, and her birdie putt missed badly.

Kim broke the 72-hole scoring mark on the LPGA Tour that was previously held by her and Annika Sorenstam. Kim won the 2016 Founders Cup at 27 under, while Sorenstam won the 2001 Standard Register Ping at 27 under, the tournament where the Swede shot 59.

"Just before I started (the final round), I setting my goal of a bogey-free round", she said afterwards. "This gives me a lot of confidence, but I still need to keep working hard because next week is a new tournament".

"We knew that you could go low around this golf course, but she's taken it to a whole other level. She had a heck of a week and I'm really excited for her". "It's unbelievable the way she (Sei Young) played". She has yet to win a major title. "Then I set my goals, just kept relaxed - except the last three holes I couldn't control the nerves because it was nearly done, but I finished really good". Kim's performance included 31 birdies, one eagle and - proving she is human after all - one double bogey on the 17th in the second round. In the men's PGA Tour, Jordan Spieth and Ernie Els are the only two golfers to finish a 72-hole event at 30-under or better. Kim earned her full time status card on the LPGA Tour after finishing tied for ninth at the 2014 LPGA Qualifying Tournament. "It's insane", Kim said. "But after two years ago at JTBC, I shot a 27-under; that tied the record with Annika Sorenstam".

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No one had a chance Sunday.

Kim posted an eight-under 64 on Saturday to get to 24-under and will have an eight-shot lead with 18 holes left on Sunday. Amy Yang, who played with Kim in the final round, made eagle on No. 3 to get within six shots.

Carlota Ciganda of Spain lost a ball and made double bogey on the 18th hole for a 64 to finish alone in second, nine shots behind.

Lydia Ko, who holed a wedge on the par-5 15th, was tied for third with Anna Nordqvist and Emma Talley at 15 under. Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., closed at 14 under. "So, yeah, I did today, so I'm very happy with another good round". "Lots of birdies; lots of good shots. This is a dream come true".