36-hole leader S.Y. Kim relishes pressure

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HARRISON, N.Y. – Sei Young Kim isn’t afraid of the pressure that awaits taking the lead into the weekend of a major championship.

“I believe I can play better in tournaments where I feel more pressure,” Kim said after shooting a 5-under-par 68 Friday to take a one-shot lead at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. “More pressure comes in, I’ll play better.”

Though just a rookie, Kim showed she can deliver under pressure, winning both of her LPGA titles this year in playoffs. She won a three-way playoff at the Pure Silk Bahamas in January and then defeated Inbee Park in spectacular fashion in a playoff at the Lotte Championship in April. She chipped in at the end of regulation to force the playoff in Hawaii and then won by holing an 8-iron from 154 yards for eagle.

Kim, 22, isn’t your typical rookie. She was a star of the Korean LPGA Tour before making it through LPGA Q-School in the United States last December. Kim won five times on the Korean tour, including a Korean major.