After Further Review: Kim's emotional victory

RSS

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. In this edition of After Further Review, our writers weigh in on Christina Kim's emotional return to the LPGA winner's circle, Ian Poulter's late-season surge and Brooks Koepka's breakthrough at the Turkish Airlines Open.


I played a round of golf with Christina Kim earlier this year in chilly, windy conditions - well, chilly and windy for Orlando, at least.

While I don't tee it up with LPGA pros too often, I do watch plenty of 'em. And not many could put on a ball-striking display in that kind of weather like Kim, who even during a casual round that day might not have missed a fairway or green.

Knowing how good she can strike it and knowing how that talent has failed to translate into success in recent years was obviously frustrating for her. When it all came together this week, when she finally returned to the winner's circle nine years after her last victory, she was obviously emotional.

For anyone who knows her and knows the tough journey she's endured to get back to this level, well, they could be excused for getting a little emotional after the win, too. – Jason Sobel


Sure, there are ways to explain it – the courses fit his eye, the fields are smaller, the end of the season provides extra motivation. But over the past two seasons, few, if any, have played better than Ian Poulter when the calendar flips to October. Over his last 25 worldwide stroke-play starts, Poulter’s scoring average is more than four shots better in this trio of Final Series events (WGC-HSBC Champions, Turkish Airlines Open, Dubai) than the rest of his schedule combined. His score in relation to par is more than 90 shots better. He has doubled his number of top-6 finishes. Whatever the explanation, Poulter will enter yet anotherseason riding a wave of momentum. Carrying it over into the next year, however, has proved to be the challenge. – Ryan Lavner


Consider it the ultimate walk-off. Brooks Koepka’s victory on Sunday at the Turkish Airlines Open was more than simply another stepping stone for the upwardly mobile American, it was an insurance policy. Koepka’s triumph was his first on the European Tour and vaulted him into the top 40 in the World Golf Ranking, the benchmark for any player, like Koepka, who is hoping to maintain his status on both sides of the transatlantic divide. The victory also secured Koepka a spot in every major next year, all but one of 2015’s World Golf Championships and a foothold in his climb to the top. – Rex Hoggard