No one is having more fun than Christina Kim, just two nicks from Pelican to the head – .

No one is having more fun than Christina Kim, just two nicks from Pelican to the head – .

Before playing alongside Nelly Korda and Sei Young Kim on Saturday at the Pelican Women’s Championship, Christina Kim joked that she was ready to be passed 160 yards by her two competitors.

Kim, 37, exceeded her expectations.

“Honestly,” she said, “it was between, I don’t know, 30 and 60 [yards], so I was actually pretty happy about it.

Kim, who averaged 274 yards on 54 holes, had plenty to smile about this week at the penultimate LPGA event. She arrived in Belleair, Fla. As the first alternate, missed by a shot in Monday’s qualifier, entered via a last-minute sponsor invite, and now at 14 she will enter the final round. Sunday just two nicks from the head. .

“I’m so happy to be here,” said Kim, “and obviously having the opportunity to play this week with the best women’s golf course, playing semi-late on a Sunday, is really, really amazing. “

Kim will start in Sunday’s penultimate group at 11:04 am ET as she looks not only to win her first LPGA title since 2014, but also to hold onto her LPGA card. Kim finished last season just outside the top 50 in Race to CME Globe points, but the LPGA, in response to the pandemic, chose to postpone the priority from 2019 to this year, and Kim had to play her limited status to From this season she finished No. 113 in points. She only made one event in March and, after five consecutive missed cups, she made it to this week’s tournament at Pelican Golf Club with just two spots in the top 100 in points.

Assuming she avoids disaster on Sunday, Kim thinks she can easily maintain her position in the points. There’s also a good chance Kim will qualify for the 72-man CME Group Tour Championship next week in Naples, Fla. A win would make her the first sponsor exemption to win on the LPGA since Lydia Ko did so as an amateur at the 2013 CP Women’s Open.

At the very least, Kim will have no problem finding reasons to be happy. Kim might describe herself as an “instant pot, where you just need to press that manual release for the pressure,” but so far she’s showing no signs of stress.

“It’s a beautiful day,” Kim said repeatedly in her post-tour interview on Saturday. Never mind that the rain delayed the game a few hours ago.

There was also the rod she hit on the par-4 11e hole – and this explanation: “It was not like a [Ian] A chicken shank or a Webb Simpson shank, but nicked the hosel, so it ended up on the green. I had way too much club, and I was like, I don’t want him flying too far, so I’m going to make sure to avoid the center of the clubface. Kim took two 45-foot putts to save par.

Oh, and don’t forget his praise for Korda. It was the first time, Kim said, that she had played with the world number 1, and she didn’t hold back.

“I may be his biggest fan,” Kim said. “Obviously her golf, you can give her a frying pan and she can do anything with any club. But as a human being, like the grace she has, she was super patient with me because I was like, let’s talk about it, and she was totally open to that.

“She has a beautiful laugh, a beautiful smile. Just really, really warm hearted. I was like, Love at first sight for another girl. As if I was absolutely in awe of her. I told him. It almost brought tears to my eyes knowing that the future of gaming, the next generation is in its hands.

“It’s just like – I almost swore. It’s really awesome.

Pelican Women’s Championship Full Field Scores

Kim may be disappointed that she’s playing behind Korda, the co-leader with Lexi Thompson, on Sunday, but that won’t stop her from having fun.

All week she celebrated the small victories:

Just enter the field.

Make the weekend.

Play with Nelly.

Commit at each stroke despite his “octogenarian age”. (Never a dull moment with Kim.)

Even when staying dry. She only did three bogeys out of 54 holes as well.

It’s likely, however, that she’ll be happy to concede the latter if she breaks her seven-year drought and provokes the champagne showers on Sunday. Then again, if Kim doesn’t win, she’ll likely still be a part of the celebration.

“Tomorrow is going to be a great day,” Kim said. “I can only control what I can control, and even sometimes that doesn’t include the golf ball, so I’m just going to go out there and really focus on my process, keep trusting him and have a good ball.” daytime . “


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