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11 July 2018, 03:50 | Henrietta Morgan
STACY REVERE GETTY IMAGES
Lydia Ko struggled for accuracy in the final round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
Sei Young Kim completed an historic win at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic on Sunday, smashing several tour records on her way to a nine-shot victory.
AUSTRALIA'S Katherine Kirk, the overnight leader, battled her way to a one-under 71 in the second round to be tied for third at the halfway point of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in Wisconsin.
Kim shot her previous record-equaling effort of 27 under at the 2016 Founders Cup, drawing her level with her childhood hero Sorenstam. She would tack on three more birdies including a 12-footer on 17, one of the toughest holes on the course, and finished at 22-under.
Kim's only blemish all week was a double bogey at the par-three 17th on Friday. "So, yeah, I did today, so I'm very happy with another good round".
Kim said it was a "dream come true" to match Sorenstam's record.
The result never looked in doubt as Kim began Sunday's round with an eight-shot lead, and it proved to be the case as she tore up the course for the fourth successive round.
Lydia Ko, who holed a wedge on the par-5 15th, was tied for third with Anna Nordqvist and Emma Talley at 15 under. "Then I set my goals, just kept relaxed - except the last three holes I couldn't control the nerves because it was nearly done, but I finished really good".
For all the birdies, Kim set the LPGA Tour record with a par on the final hole to finish at 257.
BC-GLF-LPGA Tour, 3rd Ld-Writethru, 433Sei Young Kim sets 54-hole mark at 24 under at LPGA ClassicAP Photo WIAPP323, WIAPP325, WIAPP322, WIAPP326, WIAPP328, WIAPP327, WIAPP330Eds: Clarifies that Kim shares 72-hole record with Sorenstam. It's her seventh career victory and first this season.
The Thornberry first-place check of $300,000 pushed Kim's career earnings past $5 million, making her the 61st player to reach that plateau in LPGA history. She fired a 7-under 65 in the final round for a four-day total of 31-under 257.
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Kim, who is seeking her first win of the season, was a disappointing 25th at last week's KPMG Women's PGA Championship.
She was ranked as high as number eight in the world past year after her win in Mexico and has struggled for much of 2018.
The affable Kim is the 17th different player to win during the 2018 season and is the sixth player from Korea to win.
Amy Yang carded a five-under 67 and is alone in second place at 16-under.
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