“It doesn’t matter if you win wire-to-wire. What really matters is winning at the end.”
Hyo-Joo Kim, 28, emphasized the importance of winning after earning her sixth career victory on the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour in a year and six months.
Kim carded four birdies and two bogeys for a 13-under 271 total in the final round of the Ascendant LPGA Benefiting VOA ($1.8 million purse) at The Old American GC (par 71-6475) in The Colony, Texas, USA, to win by four strokes over runners-up Ataya Thittitjer and Bianca Pagdanganan (9-under 275 – Thailand).
Kim won her sixth LPGA title in a year and six months after winning the Lotte Championship in Hawaii last April. Kim, who won the 2014 Evian Championship as a member of the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) before moving to the United States the following year, has now won the last three seasons in a row, including the 2015 JTBC Founders Cup, 2016 PureSilk Bahamas LPGA Championship, 2021 HSBC Women’s World Championship and 2022 Lotte Championship.
Entering the final round with a five-stroke lead, Kim birdied the second (par-5) and bogeyed the third (par-4) before closing with a thrilling birdie on the ninth (par-4), where her ball sat in front of the hole for a while before rolling in. After a bogey at the 11th (par-3) cut her deficit to three strokes, Kim holed a 3-meter birdie putt at the 14th (par-4) to get back within striking distance and then birdied the 17th (par-5) to cut the deficit to one.
Kim, who never relinquished the lead after the first day and won the tournament with a perfect scorecard, joined Brooke Henderson (CAN) and Hae-Ran Lee (KOR) for her third wire-to-wire victory of the season and first of her career, but said, “It doesn’t matter. It’s really important to win at the end,” she said.
Kim had eight top-10 finishes prior to this event, including two runner-up finishes and one third-place finish, but was unable to put the final nail in the coffin. “I was dissatisfied that I didn’t win this season even though my performance wasn’t bad,” she said. “Now that I got the win I wanted, I will play the rest of the season aiming for the bare trophy.”
Kim, who won her 17th tournament of the year, averaged 69.666 strokes per round and is the only player in the 60s to lead the field in scoring average, ahead of Thi Tin-jeong (70.016) and Ko Jin-young (70.019). She added $270,000 (approx. $364,000) in prize money to her season earnings and remains sixth on the money list ($2,049,778).
With Kim’s win, South Koreans have combined for four victories this season, matching their total from last year.
Jin Young Ko has two wins on the season (HSBC Women’s World Championship, Cognizant Founders Cup), followed by 토토사이트 Hae Ran Lee (Walmart NW Arkansas Championship) and Hyo Joo Kim for the second straight week.
Kim will return home to Korea to compete in the LPGA Tour’s BMW Ladies Championship at Seowon Hills CC in Gyeonggi Paju, starting on Sept. 19. She is not on the roster for this week’s Buick LPGA Shanghai, the first event of the Asian Swing.
“My brother is about to have a baby, so I’m excited to see my niece,” Kim said, adding, “My parents and my dog are waiting for me, and it’s a much better trip home with a trophy.”