DALY CITY, Calif. – Sei Young Kim is all the buzz on the range this week at the Swinging Skirts Classic.
The way Kim closed out her victory Saturday at the Lotte Championship had her fellow competitors still talking about it three days later. Kim defeated world No. 2 Inbee Park after chipping in for par at the 72nd hole to force a playoff and then bouncing in an 8-iron from 154 yards for eagle at the first sudden-death hole.
Kim created all of this excitement after hitting her tee shot on the final hole of regulation into the water and nearly hitting her next shot after a drop into the water.
“I watched it like 20 times,” Christina Kim said. “It was awesome. I was trying to think back on whether I had ever seen a finish like that. I don’t think I have. There have been hole-outs and things like that, but nothing as dramatic as the way she did it. As a fan of the game, it was incredible to watch.”
Ha Na Jang, one of Kim’s best friends on tour, said she jumped out of her seat watching on television.
“I was like, 'Oh my God, what just happened,’” Jang said. “After hitting in the water, it seemed impossible she was going to win. It was so nice.”
World No. 1 Lydia Ko said it got her excited watching it.
“Two amazing shots,” Ko said. “I was screaming, watching on TV.”
Paula Creamer knows something about improbable hole-outs. Her celebratory dance and emotional reaction after holing out a 75-foot putt for eagle to win the HSBC Women’s Champions in a playoff last year went viral on the web. Creamer thought Kim’s finish was so special it ought to be resonating beyond the golf niche.
“That was pretty awesome,” Creamer said. “I'm surprised. It's kind of a shame it's not talked about more. A chip in for par and then a hole‑out for eagle, goodness, that should be all over the place.”