The LPGA Tour has provided some dramatic finishes this season and this past weekend was no different, as Titleist Pro V1 golf ball loyalist Sei Young Kim captured the LOTTE Championship with a pair of remarkable hole-outs. The 22-year old rookie from South Korea chipped in for par on the final hole of regulation to force a playoff, then holed out an 8-iron from 154 yards for eagle to win on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff .
“I still can’t believe what just happened,” Kim said after the win. “After the ANA (Inspiration), I had a tough time sleeping because that was my first opportunity to win a major tournament on the LPGA Tour. At the same time, I saw the possibility and the potential that I belonged there, and that I can win a major championship in the future.”
Kim, who starred on the Korean LPGA Tour before earning her LPGA card at Q-School in December, becomes the first two-time LPGA winner this year, having won the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic in the season’s second event. Before coming to the United States, she won five times on the Korean Tour, including a major.
This week’s win at Ko Olina Golf Club in Oahu vaults her to the top of the Rolex Player of the Year standings.
Congratulations, Sei Young!
WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WORLDWIDE PROFESSIONAL TOURS:
EUROPEAN TOUR: Trusting a Pro V1x golf ball, the winner of the inaugural Shenzhen International rallied to force a playoff and then birdied the first extra hole for victory. The eventual champion eagled the 17th hole in regulation with a putt of 18 feet to emerge from a congested leaderboard and tie for the lead.
In addition to the winner, five Titleist golf ball loyalists finished among the Top 10 at the event, including Peter Uihlein, Tom Lewis, David Howell, Wen-yi Huang and Julien Quesne, each of whom tied for 4th place.
Hendry, who started the final round three shots behind the overnight leader, closed with a final nine 31 en route to a 7-under 64 and a 15-under 269 victory total.
"It's awesome to get across the line,” the New Zealand native said in a post-round interview. “Regaining the No 1 ranking in New Zealand is also a big goal of mine so this will help, too, and obviously if you can get to No 1 then things like the Olympics come into play.”
In addition to his maiden Japan Tour victory, Hendry also has won on the OneAsia and PGA Tour of Australasia.
What’s in Michael Hendry’s Bag?: Pro V1x golf ball, 915D2 (7.5) driver, 915F (15.0) fairway metal, 915Hd (17.5) hybrid, T-MB 716 3-iron, AP2 714 (4-9) irons, Vokey Design SM5 pitching (46), gap (52), and lob (58) wedges, Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Select putter.
TITLEIST BY THE NUMBERS:
In total, 5,846 players have teed up Titleist golf balls in competition on the 2015 worldwide professional tours, more than six times the nearest competitor with 913 and more than all competitors combined.
THE TITLEIST LEADERBOARD | WEEK ENDING APRIL 19, 2015
|Tour||Event||Titleist Golf Ball Players||Nearest Competitor|
|PGA TOUR||RBC Heritage||82||15|
|European Tour||Shenzhen International||98||22|
|LPGA Tour||LOTTE Championship||106||11|
|Champions Tour||Greater Gwinnett Championship||59||8|
|Web.com Tour||El Bosque Mexico Championship||87||19|
|Japan Tour||Token Homemate Cup||61||44|