Blue Bay win would give Kim commanding ROY lead


Sei Young Kim (Getty Images)

Sei Young Kim’s climb to the top of the leaderboard Friday at the Blue Bay LPGA moves her into position to take a commanding lead in the Rolex Rookie of the Year race.

With an even-par 72 in windy conditions, Kim moved to 2 under overall, one shot ahead of Suzann Pettersen and three other players on Hainan Island in China.

Kim leads the Rolex Rookie of the Year race with 1,272 points. That’s 97 points ahead of fellow South Korean Hyo Joo Kim, who withdrew from the Blue Bay LPGA citing injury after opening the tournament with a 79. A victory is worth 150 points in the Rookie of the Year race, second place is worth 80 and third worth 75, with points awarded down to 10 for finishing 40th.

Kim, 22, leads one of the deepest rookie classes in the history of the LPGA. She’s seeking her third LPGA title this year, which would equal the three wins Lydia Ko claimed a year ago when she won Rookie of the Year. Kim won the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic in February and the Lotte Championship in April.

There are three LPGA events remaining after the Blue Bay LPGA.

Rolex Rookie of Year Points Standings

1. Sei Young Kim, 1,272
2. Hyo Joo Kim, 1,175
3. Minjee Lee, 1,016
4. Ha Na Jang, 766
5. Alison Lee, 743