S. Korean Kim Sei-young wins LPGA match play event

By a2016032
  • Published : May 8, 2017 - 08:59
  • Updated : May 8, 2017 - 15:11

South Korean Kim Sei-young has collected her sixth career LPGA victory at a match play event in Mexico.

Kim defeated Ariya Jutanugarn 1-up to take the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Match Play in Mexico City on Sunday (local time).

It was Kim's first win of 2017. The 24-year-old won three times as a rookie in 2015 and added two more wins in 2016. She took home a winner's check of $205,000.

Kim Sei-young of South Korea poses with the champion's trophy after winning the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Match Play at Club de Golf Mexico in Mexico City on May 7, 2017. (Yonhap)

She's also the sixth South Korean to win on the tour this year in 10 tournaments after Jang Ha-na, Amy Yang, Park In-bee, Lee Mi-rim and Ryu So-yeon. The LPGA Tour has had 10 different winners in those 10 tournaments so far in 2017.

Kim edged out fellow South Korean Hur Mi-jung in the semifinals at Club de Golf Mexico and then beat Jutanugarn for the win. Kim rose to No. 8 in the latest world rankings announced hours after her victory. Kim began this season at No. 6 but fell out of the top 10 in early April before cracking the top 10 again this week.

Kim is one of six South Koreans in the top 10, led by No. 3 Ryu So-yeon.

Against Jutanugarn, Kim won the first three holes with birdies to take a 3-up lead. It remained that way until the 10th hole, where Jutanugarn cut Kim's lead to 2-up with her first birdie of the final.

Kim regained her 3-up lead with a birdie at the par-four 12th.

But Jutanugarn made things more interesting in the final stretch as she birdied the 14th and the 17th.

Jutanugarn could have extended the match but Kim matched Jutanugarn's par to secure the victory.

Kim said afterward she was especially pleased with her win because it came on the heels of a missed cut last week.

"It's been one year since my last win, and I've not played well," she told "I missed the cut last week (at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout). But this week, I bounced back and had a really good result. So, I'm really happy with that."

In the third place match, Hur defeated Michelle Wie 1-up in 22 holes. She rallied from a 5-down deficit after 10 holes by winning five holes on the back nine and then completed the comeback with a birdie on the 22nd hole.

The tournament is named after the former world No. 1 player from Mexico. (Yonhap)