Golf

Kim beats Ariya for Lorena Ochoa Match Play title

South Korea's world No. 12 Kim Sei Young edged Thailand's third-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn 1-up in yesterday morning's (Singapore time)final to win the Lorena Ochoa Match Play title and capture her sixth career LPGA title.

Kim, the 2015 LPGA Rookie of the Year, collected her first victory since last June's Meijer LPGA Classic, winning the first three holes and fending off a late comeback from Ariya to win the first LPGA match-play event since 2012.

"It was a really tough day today," said Kim, who trailed for only four of the 95 holes she played at Club de Golf Mexico.

"I never had such a hard win like today. I am happy that I was able to win and hold this trophy."

Ariya, who captured the first of her five LPGA titles exactly a year ago, had defeated American Michelle Wie 4&3 in the morning semi-finals while Kim downed 25th-ranked compatriot Hur Mi-Jung 5&4. Hur outlasted Wie in 22 holes in the third-placing match.

Kim, 24, opened the final with birdie-eagle-birdie to take a 3-up lead on Ariya, keeping it to the turn as both women followed with six pars.

TENSION

Ariya won her first hole with a par four at the 10th to pull within 2-down and both birdied to halve the par-five 11th as the tension grew.

Kim birdied the 12th, stretching her lead back to 3-up, but Ariya answered by winning the par-three 14th when Kim made bogey, trimming the lead to two with four to play.

Both parred to halve the 15th and par-three 16th, Kim lipping out a birdie putt that would have clinched the win.

Kim then hit her tee shot wide right and out of bounds at the par-five 17th and would lose the hole to Ariya's birdie, leaving her 1-up on the 18th tee.

Both parred the last, however, and Kim had her victory.

"I tried to stay calm but I really couldn't," Kim said. "My hands were shaking, my legs were shaking, too. It was really hard to keep calm." - AFP