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Five Years Later, Kim Puts Best Foot Forward

By: Lewine Mair, Global Golf Post

There was relief all round as In-Kyung Kim added a 71 to earlier scores of 65, 68 and 66 for 270 at Kingsbarns to win the Ricoh Women’s British Open by two shots from England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff. After all, no-one with any soul would have wanted the 29-year-old from South Korea to blow what had been a six-shot overnight lead after what happened to her in 2012.

That was the year when she had a 1-footer to win what would have bene her first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship – and she missed.

In the next few years, she sought help from as many as four psychologists – they included Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson, the noted Vision54 coaches – as she sorted herself out. She listened to classical music and felt that its moods reflected her own and helped to ease her pain: “Music and life can be happy and unhappy,” Meditation also worked for the good. “I didn’t kill myself,” she said, and she was not saying it glibly.

If that 1-foot putt has loomed large in her career so, too, has the presence of her father. “He’s a Korean dad,” she said, meaning that he was one of those fathers who could not detach himself from his daughter’s golf. The remark she made after her Saturday 66 probably caught him as well as anything. “My dad always points out what I do wrong, but he can’t say I did anything wrong today.”

IK Kim 2One way and another, that little cameo of her life had people crossing their fingers that she would make it successfully across the finish line.

They feared for her as her lead shrank to two as Ewart Shadoff made what was her eighth birdie of the day on her way to a 64. When Ewart Shadoff finished, Kim had two-and-a-half holes to negotiate; two-and-a-half holes in which to complete her victory or to let another glorious major chance slip from her grasp. Mercifully, she did the former, which the key moment coming when she stood to her second at the 17th, a shot which had to carry the water and have the length to stick on the hilltop green.

After reminding herself, “It’s not over yet,” she stood to the ball with her beloved 5-wood before pulling back and starting again. Then she had a new rush of confidence and hit a cracking shot to 15 feet on her way to par.

On the 18th where when she hit her second aboard the green to leave herself with a possible birdie putt, a smile took over from the tension. She knew she was home and dry.

“Two (thousand) and twelve taught me to concentrate over every shot,”she said afterwards. “As to how I feel, the answer is quite uplifted.”

Full marks to Ewart Shadoff for giving such alarming chase with her closing 64. It lifted spectators in their seats, and it made the championship interesting. Georgia Hall’s was another stellar performance, one which belonged in the believe-it-or-not category. She finished on 13 under and in a share for third place with Caroline Masson and Michelle Wie – and that though she has been plying her trade on a Ladies European Tour which she had no tournaments to play for a couple of months earlier this year.

Republished with permission by Global Golf Post.