Kim Sei-Young’s 31-under score smashes LPGA record

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ONEIDA, WI - JULY 08: Sei Young Kim of Korea hits her tee shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic at Thornberry Creek at Oneida on July 8, 2018 in Oneida, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Kim Sei-Young went where no female golfer had gone before.

The South Korean’s cumulative score of 31-under-par at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in Wisconsin smashed the Tour’s four-day record by four shots — an accolade she had previously shared with Swedish great Annika Sorenstam.

Kim finished the tournament nine shots clear of Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, collecting her first piece of silverware this season and the seventh of her career.

It was a remarkable weekend for the 25-year-old, who hit just one bogey and carded scores of 63, 65, 64, and 65 at Oneida.

“I know it’s an incredible score. I would never have thought I’d shoot 31 under this week,” Kim told “I don’t believe it, it feels unreal.

“It’s been really special this week. I feel calm, comfortable, relaxed.

“I realized how to play well this weekend. I showed that and I did that. I have more confidence after this week. Hopefully there’ll be a couple more wins this year.”

‘Playing unbelievably’

Kim shot her previous record-equaling effort of 27 under at the 2016 Founders Cup, drawing her level with her childhood hero Sorenstam.

But now she’s surpassed the player she idolized for so long, in the process also setting the LPGA 72-hole record at 257. Kim’s performance included 31 birdies, one eagle and — proving she is human after all — one double bogey on the 17th in the second round.

Victory at Oneida never seemed in doubt for Kim, who collected $300,000 in prize money having held the lead after her second round of 65.

A closing 64 for Ciganda ensured she finished in front of the trio of Anna Nordqvist, Emma Talley, and Amy Yang, who all tied for third on 20 under.

“Sei Young was playing unbelievably,” said Ciganda, who notched her best result since 2016.

“There’s nothing you can really do but just say congratulations. When someone plays that good, she deserves to win.”

The LPGA Tour next moves to Sylvania, Ohio, for the Marathon Classic, before heading to the UK for the British Open from August 2-5.

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