Kim Hyo-joo (26, photo) tied for third place in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (total prize money of $4.5 million) in the women’s golf major. With this, it has been confirmed that they will participate in the Tokyo Olympics next month along with Jinyoung Ko (26), Inbi Park (33), and Seyoung Kim (28).
Kim Hyo-joo hit a 4-under-par 68 with 6 birdies and 2 bogeys in the final round of the tournament held at the Atlanta Athletic Club (par 72, 6831 yards) in Jones Creek, Georgia, USA on the 28th (Korean time). With a final total of 10 under par 278, he tied for third with Giulia Molinaro (Italy). This is the highest score among Korean players participating in this tournament.
The best performance in the majors this season gave Kim Hyo-joo a ticket to the Olympics. The list of participants for the Tokyo Olympics will be determined according to the world rankings announced on the 28th (local time) after the event is over. In principle, up to two athletes per country are allowed to participate in the Olympics. However, if there are four or more players within the 15th place in the world ranking, up to four players will get tickets.
As of the 21st, Ko Jin-young, Park In-bi, and Kim Se-young were ranked 1st, 2nd, and 4th in the world rankings, so they had virtually decided to go to Tokyo. In a situation where Kim Hyo-joo, 8th in the world rankings, and Yu So-yeon (31), 16th, competed for the last one, Kim Hyo-joo was caught. Yoo So-yeon finished tied for 33rd with a final even-par of 288.
Kim Hyo-ju, who started the first round with 1-under-par 71 strokes, finished in the final round with a tie for ninth with three-under par 69 in the second round and a 2-under-par 70 in the third round. The bogey came out on the 2nd hole (par 5), but I went down from the 6th hole (par 4) and caught 3 birdies. Then, on the 10th hole (par 4), he added a birdie to boost his momentum. He hit a bogey on the 15th hole (par 3), but made up for it with a birdie on the 17th hole (par 3), and finished the 18th hole (par 5) with a birdie, achieving the best performance in major tournaments this season.
Kim Hyo-joo said, “It’s been a long time since I wasn’t disappointed on the last day. It feels good to have my shot back, and overall I’m really satisfied.” “I’m proud of myself because I’m satisfied with my swing, not because I’m getting close to the lead,” he said. “I gained confidence in my game. I can run even harder this season.”
Nelly Corda (23, USA) reduced four strokes by combining two eagles, two birdies, and one double bogey that day and achieved her first major championship with a final total of 19-under 269. Lizzet Salas (32, USA), who competed with Corda for the championship, finished runners-up with a final total of 16 under par. As a result, Corda’s world ranking will move up to No.1 by overtaking Jinyoung Ko from No.3. It is the first time in six years and six months since Stacy Lewis in October 2014 that an American player has reached the top of the world rankings.
Reporter Jo Soo-young [email protected]
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