Sei Young Kim walked off the par-5 13th at Thornberry Creek Oneida course Sunday looking disappointed – though only moderately - after finding the green in two but only making a five. Understandable, since it was her first three putt of the week.
The mis-step hardly proved costly, of course, meaning her lead only remained at eight instead of being extended to nine with five holes to play.
But in a week of record setting scoring from the now seven-time winner on the LPGA Tour (her 31-under 72-hole total broke the 27-under mark previously held by both herself and Annika Sorenstam), that was how hard one had to look for mistakes.
In fact, the 25-year-old didn’t make a single bogey all week, her only blemish coming with a double bogey at the par-3 17th hole in the second round.
Kim’s play at the second Thornberry Classic in Wisconsin was breathtaking, the only time she didn’t lead being after 18 holes.
Her Thursday 63 was one shy of defending champion Katherine Kirk whose 10-under 62 was the best of her career. It was as close as anybody got for the rest of the week.
Kim followed with a 65 to open a four shot lead then 64 to extend the margin to six. A final round 65 put her nine ahead of second placed Carlota Ciganda.
All too often it is written that a golfer who produces a bogey free score has played ‘flawlessly’ - a nonsense of course, though the intent of the term is clear.
Kim, however, came as close to flawless as a golfer might over four days and certainly made look almost pedestrian anything previously done in the women’s game.
Clearly the scoring is a reflection of the challenge put up by the course but the margin of victory is an indication of the quality of Kim’s play.
Only Steve Stricker, through four of the five rounds of the 2009 Bob Hope Classic, has gone lower in the professional game at 33-under the card.
Ernie Els won the 2003 Mercedes Championship at 31-under and also holds the European Tour’s record at 29-under (at Lake Karrinyup in 2003).
None of that, of course, was relevant to Kim as she lifted her seventh career LPGA trophy and put herself in the conversation as among the favourites for the upcoming Women’s British Open.
First round leader and defending champion Katherine Kirk was the best of the Australians at 15-under and T20, Minjee Lee a shot further back and T23.
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko was alongside Lee at 14-under while Rebecca Artis battled to a final round 76 to drop more than 30 places on the leaderboard to T72.
MATT BALLARD ON MARRYING READ AND SPEED ON PUTTS:
Want video tips delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to iseekgolf.com newsletters.