South Korea’s Kim Hyo-joo yesterday staged a late fightback by firing a sparkling eight-under-par 64 to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship by one shot over Australia’s Hannah Green, while Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-ling finished tied for 35th place.
Starting her final round at the Singapore tournament five shots back of the overnight leader, China’s Lin Xiyu, Kim parred the first four holes before four birdies in the next five holes helped her storm up the leaderboard.
After turning in 32, Kim continued her relentless chase for her fourth LPGA victory with another pair of birdies on holes 11 and 12. The 25-year-old parred the 13th hole and reeled in two more birdies on 14 and 15 to share the lead with Green at 17-under at that stage.
The Australian birdied 16 to take the outright lead, but uncharacteristically dropped two shots in her last two holes to leave the door open for Kim to win.
Kim remained calm under pressure and carded two more pars to sign off with a winning total of 17-under-par 271, ending her five-year title drought on the LPGA.
“My goal for this year is to get a win and I’m glad I achieved that today,” said Kim, whose last victory was in 2016, when she won the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
“I have not won for such a long time and this really feels like my first win,” she added.
Lin, who started the round with a single-shot lead, signed off with a 71 to finish in joint third place alongside world No. 2 Inbee Park of South Korea and Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit on matching 273s.
Park, who is set to defend her Olympic title at the Tokyo Games beginning in July, insisted she was happy with her performance.
Hsu finished the fourth round one-over par to tie for 35th place with a two-under 286 for the tournament. The 26-year-old had birdies on the 12th and 14th holes, but recorded bogeys on the second, eighth and 17th.
The world No. 109 player had shot a one-under-par 71 in each of the previous three rounds.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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