Rookie Grace Kim clinched her first LPGA title in only her third start as a tour player. The 22-year-old Australian, who counts Karrie Webb as a mentor, smiled her way through the traditional winner’s hula dance at the Lotte Championship. The rookie shied away from nothing en route to a playoff victory over Yu Liu and Yu Jin Sung.
Kim birdied the last two holes in regulation and then birdied the 18th once again in overtime to collect the $300,000 winner’s check. She also played her way into next week’s Chevron Champions, the first major of the season.
“I guess it was a good day after all,” said Kim, who played aggressively throughout the final round.
Sung, who was trying to become the first sponsor invite to win on the LPGA since Lydia Ko in 2013, pulled out her makeup compact on the 18th tee in regulation. After the touchup, the Korean LPGA player made birdie on the last hole to join the playoff.