NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – Sei Young Kim came into the flash area of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship wearing a broad smile. She’d bogeyed the 18th hole, but you sure couldn’t tell it.
The petite South Korean with an aggressive game leads the third major of the season by two strokes after a third-round 67. Her 7-under total puts her two strokes ahead of Anna Nordqvist and Brooke Henderson, both past champions of this event.
A 10-time winner on the LPGA, Kim took home a $1.5 million check at the season-ending event in Naples, Florida, last November. It was the largest payday in LPGA history. No, she hasn’t yet splurged on anything. And while that victory was certainly momentous, it wasn’t a major.
That’s the next step in Kim’s decorated career, one that surely feels even more pressing given the number of South Koreans who have won majors in recent years. No one on tour is more overdue for a major than Kim.
“I wouldn’t say I’m nervous,” she said through an interpreter, “but I’m also excited about going into the final day. I just want to take each shot at a time and just keep focus, and the results will follow.”
SCORES:KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
Henderson’s 65 matched rookie Bianca Pagdanganan’s effort as the best round of the day. The 23-year-old Henderson won the Women’s PGA at Sahalee four years ago in a playoff against Lydia Ko. She has won at least once each season on the LPGA since 2015 and looks to keep that streak alive this week.
Henderson, who lost in a playoff last month at the ANA Inspiration to Mirim Lee, finished in the top six at the KPMG Women’s PGA in her first four appearances at the event. She described the victory at Sahalee as life-changing.
“Eighteen years old and it was only my second win on tour,” she said, “so it was really a huge highlight for me and still is. Just sometimes it’s hard to believe that I’m a major champion, but definitely in times like this it gives me a little bit of confidence, and I’m excited to try to do it again tomorrow.”
The final group of Kim, Nordqvist and Henderson tees off at 8:49 a.m. ET due to a 2 p.m. finish on NBC. What’s even rarer about Sunday’s tee times at the KPMG is that six groups will go off after the leaders – three on each side.
Kim said she’ll make sure to have her hand warmers ready.
Lurking three shots back of Kim is LPGA Hall of Famer Inbee Park, who carded a 66. Park looks to become only the second player in history to win four Women’s PGA titles, joining Mickey Wright (1958, 1960, 1961, 1963). Park won this championship three years in a row from 2013 to 2015.
Going into Saturday’s round, Park thought that anything within four of the lead would have a good chance on Sunday. Only 10 players are under par after three rounds.
“The course is getting firmer and faster,” she said, “so it’s getting tougher,
By: Beth Ann Nichols
Title: Sei Young Kim leads by two at Women’s PGA, with a trio of major winners on her heels
Sourced From: golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/10/10/lpga-kpmg-sei-young-kim-leads/
Published Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2020 22:10:32 +0000
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