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Is Kim Song-hee the Best Golfer Without a Trophy?

Posted August. 24, 2010 08:06,   


Golfer Kim Song-hee has topped this year’s LPGA Tour in average par. The 22-year-old is the lone competitor to post a 60-par level score with 69.94.

Despite this, she is still searching for her first win in 84 tournaments since her LPGA debut in 2007. Kim is called the best player without a trophy, but could claim the Bear Trophy, which is awarded to a player with the lowest number of pars at year’s end, which is a rarity.

The Safeway Classic ended at Pumpkin Ride Country Club (par 72) in North Plains, Oregon, Monday. Kim faced on the back nine Ai Miyazato of Japan, who was leading by three strokes the previous day, in the group of contenders.

With Miyazato stumbling, Kim tried to overtake her. Her tee-shot fell into a rough on the right side of the green on the 11th hole (par 3) but Kim managed to hit an amazing chip-in birdie over the bunker to tie for the lead. She had three consecutive birdies.

At that point, Kim was widely expected to have the momentum for earning her first win but suffered a collapse. After committing a bogey with three putts on the 13th (par 4), she hit the ball in and out of bunkers on the 14th (par 3) and 16th (par 3) to add to her bogey tally and eventually lagged behind the pack.

Kim tied for fourth (eight under) overall.

She finished in the top 10 in 18 of the 23 tournaments she played in recent months. She also has 222 birdies this season, the highest in the LPGA, and maintained a stable pace but always seems to lose focus at critical points in her quest for her elusive first title.

Kim has had a bumpy record with her score soaring in the final round or hitting birdies en masse late in a tournament only after suffering a slump early.

She seems to have a heavier burden mentally because her close friends Choi Na-yeon and Shin Ji-yai and players of her age such as Kim In-kyung, Oh Ji-young and Park In-bee all have at least one win.

Others say Kim Song-hee gets seriously nervous due to an abnormal thyroid condition.

Her coach Robin Saimes of Northern Ireland said Kim Song-hee has been constantly improving and that if she can develop her self-confidence, she will pull off a great achievement.

Miyazato won the championship to secure her fifth win of the season with an overall score of 11 under par, and rose to the top of the global prize money rankings from second. With 1,311,818 U.S. dollars in prize money, the Japanese is leading a competitive race with Choi (1,297,082 dollars) and Shin (1,258,048 dollars).

Choi tied for second at nine under while Shin and Kim In-kyung tied for sixth at seven under. Five Koreans finished in the top 10.