LPGA MEDIHEAL CHAMPIONSHIP MEDIA NOTES: Sun, May 5
|1||Sei Young Kim||-7||72-66-68-75—281
*won with birdie on first playoff hole (No. 18)
|T4||Lexi Thompson, Charley Hull, Amy Yang, Eun-Hee Ji||-5||283|
SEI YOUNG KIM CAPTURES COMEBACK WIN AT LPGA MEDIHEAL CHAMPIONSHIP
The final round of the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship may go down as one of the wildest days in LPGA Tour history. Sei Young Kim drained a birdie on the first playoff hole to earn her eighth LPGA Tour victory, emerging victorious over Bronte Law and Jeongeun Lee6. But just one sentence cannot possibly capture the drama that unfolded Sunday at Lake Merced Golf Club.
Kim stepped to the first tee with a three-stroke lead at -10. That advantage quickly evaporated when Kim opened with a double bogey and a bogey in her first two holes. Thirteen groups ahead of her, Law was on fire, carding birdies at 7, 9, 10, 11 and 12 to pull within two strokes of Kim. Law then eagled the par-5 15th hole, and as Kim made yet another bogey at No. 8, Law signed for a 65 and took the clubhouse lead at -7, more than two hours before Kim was due to finish.
Lee6 made a late charge, playing the back nine at -5, including her own eagle at No. 15. The 2019 LPGA Tour rookie joined Law at -7 and the wait began to see what Kim could accomplish.
Kim birdied No. 15 to tie for the lead but her tee shot at the par-3 17th found a greenside bunker, leading to a bogey and dropping her a stroke behind Law and Lee6. With the tournament on the line, Kim’s eagle putt from short of the 18th green just missed the hole and her tap-in birdie kicked off the 2019 season’s first playoff.
Law and Lee6, who each had birdie opportunities in the playoff, both earned the best finishes of their LPGA Tour careers. Four players tied for fourth at -5: Lexi Thompson, Amy Yang, Eun-Hee Ji, and Charley Hull.
INCREDIBLE LEARNING EXPERIENCE FOR LAW
No one expects to tee off nearly two hours before the final group and be in contention for the victory. That’s exactly what happened to England’s Bronte Law in the final round of the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship. The 24-year-old UCLA alumna, who now makes her home in Phoenix, shot a lights-out 7-under 65 on Sunday to find herself not only with the clubhouse lead but with a long wait on her hands. Law finished as the lead group was on the eighth green, more than two hours before play was expected to end.
“Ultimately, waiting around that long is tough, to even get back into the mindset of, like, okay, I got to go out and play again,” said Law, who relaxed in player dining with friends before hitting the practice area when Jeongeun Lee6 tied her lead. “But, like, that’s part of the job. And it’s my first time in an LPGA playoff. So next time it happens, maybe I will learn from this experience.”
Law’s second-place finish is the best result of her three-year LPGA Tour career. Prior to today, her best finish was sixth at the 2018 Thornberry LPGA Creek Classic and the 2018 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
LEE6 ENJOYING ROOKIE SEASON
2019 LPGA rookie Jeongeun Lee6 is a seven-time winner on the KLPGA but found herself in unfamiliar territory on Sunday at Lake Merced Golf Club. Lee6 played her final four holes at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship four-under par to make her way into her first career LPGA playoff.
While she didn’t come out on top, Lee6 took it as a learning experience and was happy with her performance.
“[I] just wanted to play — just have fun with the playoff, and [I’m] pretty satisfied with it.”
In seven starts on the LPGA Tour in 2019, Lee6 has finished no worse than T16 and has collected three top-10 finishes including a career-best runner-up finish Sunday at the LPGA Mediheal Championship. Lee6 currently leads the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year standings.
LEADERS TOP 10 COMPETITION
The LEADERS Top 10 competition awards a $100,000 bonus to the LPGA player with the most top-10 finishes through the completion of the event held immediately prior to the CME Group Tour Championship. In the event of a tie in total top-10 finishes, the award will go to the player with the most official wins, followed by most second-place finishes, third-place finishes, etc., until the tie is broken.
Jin Young Ko and Nelly Korda continue to lead with six top-10 finishes on the season, but with top-10 finishes at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship on Sunday Eun-Hee Ji (T4), Minjee Lee (T8) and Azahara Munoz (T8) all move into a tie for second with five top-10s on the season.
RACE TO THE CME GLOBE
With her win, Kim earns 500 points and is projected to move from 21st to sixth in the Race to the CME Globe with 975 points.
Rolex Rankings No. 15 Sei Young Kim (72-66-68-75)
- Kim is now 4-0 in LPGA Tour playoffs
- With her eighth career victory, Kim ties Mi Hyun Kim for the fifth most wins by a Korean player in LPGA history; only Se Ri Pak (25), Inbee Park (19), Jiyai Shin (11) and Na Yeon Choi (9) have more wins
- Kim’s final-round 75 is the highest final-round score by any 2019 LPGA Tour winner
- She hit eight of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens
- Kim is in her fifth season on the LPGA Tour; at the 2018 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, she set the LPGA’s 72-hole scoring record at 31-under 257
- With her win, Kim earns $270,000; she has earned $489,346 this season and $6,402,923 for her career
- This is Kim’s eighth event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she finished second at last week’s HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open
- At the inaugural LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in 2018, she finished T37
- At the 2015 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, a separate LPGA event held at Lake Merced Golf Club, Kim finished T9
- Kim represented the Republic of Korea at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, where she finished T25
- She was the 2015 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year
Rolex Rankings No. 64 Bronte Law (73-68-75-65)
- Law’s fourth-round 65 is tied for the second-lowest round of her LPGA Tour career; she shot a 64 in the second round of the 2017 Indy Women in Tech Championship and has two 65s, including in the third round of this year’s Bank of Hope Founders Cup
- Her fourth-round 65 ties the tournament scoring record, set by Ryann O’Toole and He Yong Choi on Friday
- She hit seven of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens, with five birdies and an eagle in her round
- Law is in her third season on the LPGA Tour; her previous career-best finish was sixth at the 2018 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic and the 2018 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic
- This is Law’s ninth event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she finished T15 at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the Honda LPGA Thailand
- At the inaugural LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in 2018, she finished T43
- Law played collegiately at UCLA, where she won the 2016 ANNIKA Award and was the 2016 Pac-12 Player of the Year
- She holds the UCLA record for most career wins with seven
Rolex Rankings No. 20 Jeongeun Lee6 (74-69-71-67)
- She hit nine of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, with an eagle and two birdies on four of the final nine holes to pull into a tie for the lead
- Lee6 is a 2019 LPGA Tour rookie; she earned her Membership by taking medalist honors at the 2018 LPGA Q Series
- This is Lee6’s seventh event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she has yet to finish worse than T16 this season
- She uses a 6 at the end of her last name as she is the sixth player named Jeongeun Lee6 in KLPGA history; her fan club in Korea is called “Lucky 6”
- Lee6 is also a member of the KLPGA Tour, where she has seven career victories
- As a non-Member, Lee6 finished T5 at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open and T6 at the 2018 Evian Championship
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS
18 holes: 65 (-7) Ryann O’Toole, second round, 2019; He Yong Choi, second round, 2019; Bronte Law, final round, 2019
36 holes: 135 (-9), Jessica Korda, 2018
54 holes: 205 (-11), Lydia Ko, 2018
72 holes: 276 (-12), Lydia Ko, 2018; Minjee Lee, 2018