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Kim Hyo-joo alarms world at LPGA tour’s Evian Masters

Posted September. 15, 2014 04:44,   


Kim Hyo-joo tied for fourth with 14-under 274 overall at the Evian Masters championship of the LPGA tour two years ago. A flurry of people shouted exclamations to see the high school junior play 60-something pars on four consecutive days, despite being an amateur at the time.

As a competent pro golfer, Kim displayed a far more mature play at the same event on Saturday, which was promoted last year to a major LPGA tournament entitled “Evian Championships,” and is drawing keen attention from golf fans from around world.

At the championship held at Evian Masters Golf Club (par 71, 6,453 yards) in Evian-les-Bains, France on Saturday, Kim lost one shot with four birdies and five bogeys in the third round, but emerged as a lone lead with 8-under 205 in interim tally. Many players lost shots instantly due to tough pin positions and strong winds, but Kim solidly kept her score. The official LPGA website said, “She stood all day with leaderboards in front of her on many holes but said she didn’t mind. Making her major championship debut, Kim has shown nerves of steel.” Kim said, “After winning I will be excited.”

Aiming at the first major championship title in her golf career, Kim will have a showdown in the champion’s group with Kerry Webb, 40, dubbed "living legend of golf," in the final fourth round on Sunday. Veteran golfer Webb from Australia reduced her par by one shot in the third round, in which many others struggled, and is ranking second with 7-under 206 in interim tally.

Webb, who already became a Hall of Famer twice, won as many as seven major championship titles. She even won the Du Maurier Classic, which is now defunct but once was a major LPGA event, and is the only golfer in the world to possess the champion’s trophy from five different major golf championships. As a result, she is often called “Super Career Grand Slammer.” She is thus challenging to win her sixth major championship title at the Evian Masters. She acquired her most recent major championship title at the 2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Attention is focusing on whether Kim, who posted 61 pars, the smallest in a single round in the history of major LPGA tour championships in the first round of the French event, will overcome Webb’s stronghold, and thus win her first major championship title at age 19.

Meanwhile, Park In-bee, 26, who will come to achieve her career Grand Slam if she wins the Evian Masters title, is tying for the 10th with 3-under as of the third round, lagging five shots behind the top contender.