WASHINGTON: South Korea’s Kim In-Kyung birdied six of the first nine holes on her way to a four-stroke victory Sunday at the Marathon Classic to capture her sixth LPGA title.
Kim, ranked 28th, fired a bogey-free eight-under par 63 at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio, to finish 72 holes on 21-under par 263.
It was the second triumph in as many months for Kim, who captured last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic. She has also taken three European Ladies Tour events, including her second triumph in three years at last September’s Ladies European Masters.
American Lexi Thompson birdied three of the last four holes to grab second on 267 with a closing 66, with American Gerina Piller and Taiwan’s Chien Pei-Yun sharing third on 269.
US 18-year-old rookie Nelly Korda, the daughter of retired Czech tennis star Petr Korda, owned the 54-hole lead but stumbled to a final-round 74 to share eighth.
Kim opened with a birdie, took two more at the third and fourth and closed the front nine with three in a row to reach 19-under.
Back-to-back birdies again at 15 and 16 stifled Thompson’s late charge to seal the triumph.
Thompson birdied the par-5 seventh and par-4 ninth to reach 16-under but bogeys at 10 and 12 dropped her too far back.
Play was halted for almost two hours with only the last 10 players on the course.
LPGA rookie Chien, ranked 266th in the world, managed her first top-10 finish this season after missing the cut in 10 of her 16 prior LPGA starts this year.