Two S. Koreans tie for 4th at LPGA season’s 1st major

April 24, 2023

South Korean golfers Kim A-lim and Yang Hee-young have fallen short of winning the first major championship of the 2023 LPGA season.

Kim and Yang finished tied for fourth place at the Chevron Championship near Houston, Texas, on Sunday (local time), at eight-under 280. Kim shot an even 72 with three birdies against three bogeys at the par-72 Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at The Club at Carlton Woods, while Yang carded a 73 with three birdies and four bogeys.

They finished two strokes out of the playoff between two Americans, Lilia Vu and Angel Yin. Vu prevailed on the first hole of the sudden death affair for her first career major.

Kim, the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open champion, was going for her second career LPGA major, while Yang was chasing her maiden major title.

Kim was tied for the lead at the turn at 10-under, after recording three birdies against one bogey on the front nine.

But she fell off the lead with a bogey at the 11th, and another bogey two holes later dropped Kim two shots out of first place.

She had a long birdie putt lip out on the 15th green to stay at eight-under, and missed a more makeable birdie attempt on the next green, as she ran out of holes to make up ground.

Kim closed out her mediocre round with two straight pars.

“I am really disappointed with the final day. I regret that I wasn’t able to execute everything I’d worked on,” Kim said afterward. “Hopefully, I will be able to grow from this experience.”

Kim said challenging setups at major championships suit her game, because those courses force her to play many different types of shot.

“I think I have to keep working on my approach shots from 150 yards and in, and also on my putting and short game around the green,” Kim added. “If I improve in these areas, I think I will give myself more chances to win.”

Yang started the day one off the lead but took herself out of the race with two bogeys over her first six holes. She salvaged a top-five finish with a birdie on the final hole.

World No. 3 Ko Jin-young was the one other South Korean to finish in the top 10, as she birdied each of her final three holes to tie for ninth at seven-under 281. She tied Vu and Georgia Hall of England for the low round of Sunday with 68.

South Korea produced three major champions in 2020, but none in 2021 and one in 2022.