NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. — Sei Young Kim shot the best round of the week in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, closing with a 7-under 63 at Aronimink for a five-shot victory and her first major championship.
Kim had 10 victories, the most of any player on the LPGA Tour without a major. The 27-year-old South Korean changed that Sunday in dominant fashion. She won by five over seven-time major champion Inbee Park, who closed with a 65.
Kim became the ninth first-time champion in the last 10 majors on the LPGA Tour. This was hardly a surprise. She has won at least once on the LPGA Tour every year since 2015 and she came into Aronimink as the No. 7 player in the world.
Kim finished at 14-under 266.
Nasa Hataoka (64) and Carlota Ciganda (65) tied for third at 273. Anna Nordqvist (71) and Brooke Henderson (72) both played in Kim’s group and finished fifth and sixth.
Kim earned $645,000. She closed out last year by winning the CME Group Tour Championship and its $1.5 million prize.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Martin Laird lost a chance to win by making bogey on the 18th hole, only to redeem himself in a three-way playoff by making a 20-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Laird ended seven years without a victory in a year filled with so much doubt, which included knee surgery right about the time golf was set to resume from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 37-year-old Scot needed a sponsor exemption to play the tournament he won in 2009. He ended it with a birdie to beat Matthew Wolff and Austin Cook. It was the third three-man playoff in Las Vegas for Laird, who won in 2009 and lost the following year when Jonathan Byrd made a hole-in-one on the 17th hole at the TPC Summerlin.
Laird contributed a pair of big shots on the par 3.
He had a one-shot lead with two holes to play when he sent his tee shot on the par-3 17th off a cart path and some 30 yards right of the green with the pin to the right. He hit a chip-and-run over the cart path, under the trees, between a pair of bunkers and then made a most improbable par with an 18-foot putt.
But he missed the green to the right on the 18th and chipped to 30 feet, two-putting for bogey and a 3-under 68 to fall into a playoff at 23-under 261 with Wolff and Cook, who each closed with a 66. They all made par on the 18th in the playoff, and then Laird ended it on the 17th.
VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) — Tyrrell Hatton held off a final-round challenge by Victor Perez to win the BMW PGA Championship by four strokes, giving the English player a first victory on home soil at a tournament that inspired him to become a professional.
Hatton shot 5-under 67 to finish at 19-under 269, capping a week when he shot in the 60s every round around Wentworth’s storied West Course.
It is the most important win of his career, even topping his victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in March against a stronger field, because of the location and history at Wentworth. He’ll moves into the top 10 in the world for the first time.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
CARY, N.C. (AP) — Ernie Els birdied the final two holes, running in a 40-footer in the rain on the last, for a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke victory over Colin Montgomerie in the SAS Championship.
Els made the long putt on the par-4 18th three weeks after missing a 2-foot putt on the final hole of the Pure Championship at Pebble Beach to finish a stroke out of a playoff.
Jim Furyk missed a chance to become the first player to win his first three PGA Tour Champions events, closing with a 70 to tie for ninth at 8 under, four strokes behind Els. Furyk won at Warwick Hills and Pebble Beach.
Els won for second time in his first 10 starts on the 50-and-over tour. The South African star finished at 12-under 204 at Prestonwood Country Club.
Montgomerie shot 70.
KORN FERRY TOUR
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. (AP) — Trey Mullinax started with a three-shot lead and had to rally down the stretch with birdies on two of his last three holes for 2-under 69 and a one-shot victory in the Orange County National Championship.
In the final Korn Ferry Tour event of the year, Mullinax won for the second time on the circuit. He also won in 2016.
Brandon Wu (65) and Stephan Jaeger (67) tied for second.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down golf for three months, the Korn Ferry Tour season will resume next year, with no one graduating to the PGA Tour until the end of the 2021 season.
The Associated Press