In-Kyung Kim won the Ricoh Women’s British Open for her first major title at Kingsbarns Golf Links near St Andrews on Sunday, but it was far from the procession that many had predicted.
Kim began the day with a six-stroke lead after posting a record 54-hole total of 17-under-par, but England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff came storming through the field with a women’s course-record equalling eight-under-par 64 to set the clubhouse target at 16-under and get within two strokes of the leader.
Kim, normally known for her incredible putting, birdied the first and eighth holes but her momentum stalled with a three-putt bogey on the ninth hole and she came back with nine pars to win by two strokes.
With rounds of 65, 68, 66 and 71, the 29-year-old from Seoul finished with a total of 18-under-par 270 to claim her fourth Ladies European Tour title and her 10th professional win in total, worth £387,996.
Ewart Shadoff was delighted with her career best finish after posting eight birdies in damp and rainy conditions. The 29-year-old, originally from Yorkshire, picked up her first stroke at the second and then made five straight birdies from the sixth hole, before making further gains at the 13th and 17th.
She said: ‘I didn’t think starting the day that I would have a shot. IK was way ahead, and I just started out really strong. Holed a great putt on the first hole, which I think set the tone for the day, for par, and then just my putting was really on fire. I had a great stretch in the middle of the round to get me going. I just saw myself at the start of the round just take the opportunities when I get them and that’s what I did.
‘I’ve really just been able to control my ball flight in the wind. It helped last week at The Scottish Open with the wind and the conditions. I’ve been working with David Leadbetter for a couple years now, and he’s really just helped me understand my swing better and control my ball flight. I think this week, the key was putting. I just holed a lot of putts and I’m feeling really confident.’
England’s Georgia Hall also sealed her Solheim Cup spot with a tie for third place, alongside Michelle Wie and Caroline Masson on 13-under. Wie made seven birdies in her first 12 holes but faded with a bogey at the 17th.
Ashley Buhai’s chances of finishing inside the top 10 were dealt a blow as she failed to make one birdie on Sunday. Buhai walked away with €20,823.82 for her week’s work after closing with a 73, good enough for T30.
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