Sei Young Kim Answers Ally McDonald’s Ace With Birdie Run

Sei Young Kim Answers Ally McDonald’s Ace With Birdie Run

BELLEAIR, Fla.: Sei Young Kim answered Ally McDonald’s ace with a late birdie run to open a five-stroke lead Saturday in the Pelican Womens Championship, the South Korean’s first event since winning the KPMG Womens PGA a month and half ago.

The second-ranked Kim shot a 6-under 64, birdieing Nos. 14-17, to get to 14-under 196 at Pelican Golf Club.

She made a hole-in-one, we almost one-shot lead, Kim said. I got a little bit pressure, but I try to focus on my game.

McDonald shot 68. She had the hole-in-one on the par-3 12th and birdied the par-5 14th to get close to Kim. The American dropped a stroke on the par-4 16th.

It was playing like 115 front, 127 hole, and there was a little bit of downwind, McDonald said. So, I thought a 115 shot, just playing the front edge, would be enough to pitch it a few yards on and let it release.

“Honestly, this is kind of how my strategy works, was everything told me to look a couple paces right of it, so I did. Thats kind of my strategy, because I wasnt looking at the hole, but then it went in.

Kim’s victory last month at Aronimink was her 11th on the LPGA Tour and first major title.

I feel like same, but when standing on the first tee, like announcer, `This is a major champion, Sei Young Kim. When I heard that, feels like, `Oh, yeah, I got that.

She left McDonald behind with the birdie spree.

I just trying to keep push myself until the last hole, Kim said. Just keep pushing. I think that is way to make more birdies.

McDonald struggled on the greens late.

“I felt like I played really solid during that stretch, McDonald said. I hit good shots. Just unfortunately, my speed got a little off, especially 16, 17, 18. For a little bit, I kind of lost my touch with the putter.

Stephanie Meadow was third at 8 under after a 68 in the first-year tournament originally set for the same week as the PGA Championship in May

Lydia Ko (66) was 7 under, and Brooke Henderson (66), Minjee Lee (67) and Austin Ernst (65) were 6 under.

Top-ranked Jin Young Ko was tied for 28th at 2 over after a 69 in her first LPGA Tour event of the year. No. 1 in the world for the last 68 weeks, she has been home in South Korea since the


pandemic. She plans to play three straight tournaments through the U.S. Womens Open.