Hyo Joo Kim carded a bogey-free 64 in the final round of the 2021 HSBC Women’s World Championship to claim a one-stroke victory.
The 25-year old Korean signed for a scorecard comprised of 10 pars and eight birdies, highlighted by two sets of four in five-hole stretches – first on Nos. 5, 6, 8 and 9, then on 11, 12, 14, and 15, to reach 17-under par, one clear of runner-up Hannah Green.
“My goal this year was to get a win, and I’m glad I already achieved that,” said Kim through a translator.
“While I was playing on the KLPGA Tour last year, I honed my skills and wanted to adapt them to this year on the LPGA, and I’m very happy that these results came out.
She continued, “Last year playing at the KLPGA Tour definitely helped me this year.
“I worked out and did exercise a lot and that definitely helped me with distance, driving distance. It was very helpful.”
While Kim was celebrating, Green was still trying to contemplate what the heck just happened.
After holing out on the 14th for an eagle 2 and then birdieing No. 16, Green walked confidently to the tee on 17, holding a one-shot lead over her Korean competitor. She had reason to be confident: Green had played 17 and 18 to birdie-birdie in round one, par-par in round two, and par-birdie in round three. In those six holes, over three days, she had scored three birdies, three pars, and no bogeys.
Yet, unfathomably, Green dropped shots on both and threw away what would have been her third-career LPGA win.
“I didn’t really feel like I was in it until I holed the shot on 14. That was a nice way to get my momentum,” said Green, seemingly trying to tell herself she didn’t blow the lead because she got it late.
“Made a really good putt on 16 to make birdie, but obviously pretty disappointed to have two 3-putts finishing.
“Felt a little nerves on the last, which is nice, because I guess having the spectators out there it kind of meant something to me.
“So I’m obviously very close, so I just hope that I can continue this momentum and who knows, have a good result next week.”
So Yeon Ryu’s second-consecutive 2-under 70 was enough for solo sixth on 12 under, one clear of Carlota Ciganda (68), In Gee Chun (71), Lydia Ko (71) and Gaby Lopez (73), who rounded out the top-10 finishers on 11 under.
Sung Hyun Park (74) finished her title defense in a tie for 57th on 5-over par.
2021 HSBC Women’s World Championship
Top-10 Leaders: Final Round
Pos-Player-To Par-(Rd 4)
1. Hyo Joo Kim -17 (-8)
2. Hannah Green -16 (-3)
3. Inbee Park -15 (-2)
3. Xiyu Lin -15 (-1)
3. Patty Tavatanakit -15 (-7)
6. So Yeon Ryu -12 (-2)
7. Carlota Ciganda -11 (-4)
7. In Gee Chun -11 (-1)
7. Lydia Ko -11 (-1)
7. Gaby Lopez -11 (+1)
Material from the LPGA Tour Communications was used to compile this report.