Kim enters the fifth annual Michelob Ultra Open as one of only two players to finish in the top 10 in each of the first four events. She also is coming off a playoff victory against Hall of Famer Juli Inkster at the SemGroup Championship in Oklahoma.
'I like this course because a lot of the holes are tricky and the greens are fast,' Kim said of the par-71, 6,306-yard layout. 'When I come here, I feel more comfortable and confident when I play. Maybe that's why I play good.'
Right now, she's not lacking in confidence. Asked this week if she thinks there's a player of the future who stands out among the other rising professionals from South Korea, she answered: 'Every morning, I look at the mirror and I tell me, you're going to be good. I never think about who's going to be better or good.'
Kim's victory last weekend and the $210,000 paycheck catapulted her from 28th to sixth place on the money list. But the star-filled field she'll face starting Thursday in Williamsburg includes defending champion and Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, former winners Cristie Kerr (2005), Se Ri Pak (2004) and Grace Park (2003), and 29 of the 30 top money winners on tour this year. The purse -- $2.2 million -- is the fifth highest.
The winner receives $330,000 and a spot in the LPGA playoffs.
Webb won last year by seven strokes, finishing 14 under to set tournament records for score and victory margin. She was the first golfer to lead wire-to-wire in the tournament's short history. Ranked third in the world, she is winless in five U.S. starts this season after opening the year a pair of victories in her native Australia.
A victory this weekend would put Webb, who is second on the LPGA career money list, over $13 million since joining the tour in 1996. Webb's 2006 Michelob Ultra victory was one of her five victories in 2006, and helped her join Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa as the only LPGA Tour players to surpass $2 million in single-season earnings.