It wasn’t the weekend Leona Maguire was hoping for as she finished in a distant share of 65th at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on Sunday.
The Cavan professional has been growing into her tournaments of late on the LPGA Tour but that wasn’t the case around Aronimink Golf Club where weekend rounds of 76 and 74 saw Maguire fall outside the top-60 at 12-over par.
It will no doubt be a learning experience for the rookie who featured heavily in the television coverage over the first two days.
Sadly, that play couldn’t be replicated in a weekend showing that included 10 bogeys and not a single birdie with the former world amateur number one collecting $9,254 for her four-day performance.
In truth, it was all about Sei Young Kim who skated home by five shots to win her first Major title.
The South Korean was immaculate in her play, firing a seven-under par round of 63 to close out the tournament in a style worthy of winning any tournament.
“I’m so excited,” Kim said, whose 14-under par tally was five strokes clear of compatriot Inbee Park.
“I’m actually really hiding my tears at the moment. It was a major that I really wanted, so very excited and happy that I got it done.”
“I won’t lie, I did feel the pressure starting last night. I actually arrived about 30 minutes later than I normally do at the golf course, but I really tried to stay composed during the tournament, during the round, and I’m happy that I got it done.
“I stuck to my game plan. Just focused one shot at a time. I didn’t want to play like this was my final round but just stick to my momentum that I’ve played all week, so that worked out.”
Kim was runner-up at the 2015 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and tied for second at the Evian Championship in 2018. Kim held the 54-hole lead at a major once, at the 2015 ANA Inspiration, where she finished tied for fourth.
Last year she claimed the CME Group TOUR Championship for $1.5 million and although her prize this time around amounted to “just” $645,000, the winning feeling in a Major still takes the cake.
“Definitely a different feeling compared to the CME,” she added.
“Winning CME was great, it was really thrilling, but this one, is feels like a dramatic accomplishment to myself, so I’m very happy.
“I feel the pressure every week but especially in a major championship. I’ve felt pressure every time I’ve played in one, and I feel it in the players’ eyes when I come to a major championship, everybody is really eager to win this one, so again, nice to get it done.”
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