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Defending champ Kim: 'I feel finally in peace'

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LYTHAM & ST. ANNES – In-Kyung Kim returns this week to defend her Ricoh Women’s British Open title still feeling the fulfillment her victory brought her at Kingsbarns.

“I feel finally in peace,” Kim said.

Kim won a lot of hearts with the resilience she showed coming back from that devastating loss at the ANA Inspiration six years ago, when she missed a 14-inch putt at the last that could have won her the title. She won’t be remembered for that loss anymore. She’ll be remembered for the heart she showed overcoming that to win her first major.

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Kim, who turned 30 last month, wouldn’t surprise anyone if she became the first player to win this championship in back-to-back years since Yani Tseng in 2010-11.

“I feel fresh, and this is my favorite golf course in the entire world,” Kim said.

Kim is seeking her first victory this year after winning three times last season. She’s showing a knack for delivering her best on big stages. She has three top 10s in her last five starts in majors. She’s coming off a tie for eighth at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship last week.

She likes the tough tests, and Royal Lytham & St. Annes offers one of the toughest in the women’s game.

“It’s a very tight golf course,” Kim said. “I think it suits my game very well. But at the same time, if I don't execute well, then I'll get punished. It just makes me think a lot. So I don't get bored on the course.”