Ladies European Tour Member In-Kyung Kim, claimed her seventh career victory and her fifth on the LPGA at the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer, at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey.
Kim, who won the 2016 ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters in Germany and the 2016 Reignwood LPGA Classic in China has spent the better part of the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 recovering from falling down the stairs. Her start in New Jersey was only her sixth of the year.
“I really didn’t expect (to win) right away, but I knew my game was better than last year,” said Kim. “My trainer, my coach, they had to change so many plans for me because so many things happened last winter. But I just feel so good and I feel all the support.”
Kim, who said Saturday she loved coming to the event because of her relationship with Special Olympics New Jersey, needed only 79 putts on the week. She admitted Sunday she wasn’t prepared for how windy it was going to be all week.
“It was just so windy,” she said. “Trying to keep it in play was tough.”
With the victory, In-Kyung Kim becomes the 13th different winner on the LPGA Tour in 2017 and the seventh from South Korea.
With the $225,000 first-place check, Kim moves from 25th to 23rd on the LPGA Career Money List with $7,849,138 in career earnings.
On her celebration plans, she said: “I think we’re just going to dance and just eat room service.”
NORDQVIST COMES UP JUST SHY OF THREE-PEAT
Anna Nordqvist finished as the runner-up, two-shots back of I.K. Kim, in her bid to win three-consecutive ShopRite LPGA Classic titles.
“Just having the honor to back-to-back defend is quite amazing. I’ve had a lot of supporters cheering me on this week, and I really appreciate everyone’s support,” Nordqvist said. There is a little bit of pressure coming into it, but it’s just been fun. I’m trying to embrace it. I love this golf course, I love hitting the shots.”