Impressed by BTS and the custom of Tiger Woods: Meet first-time main winner Kim Sei-Younger



The catchy tones of “Dynamite” by her compatriots and tremendous boy band BTS offered an inspirational tune for Kim as she dominated the Girls’s PGA Championship, ultimately securing the primary main win of her profession by 5 photographs.

For somebody who had beforehand had a status for being very profitable on the Girls Skilled Golf Affiliation (LPGA) Tour with out a main victory, specializing in her psychological state and utilizing music to have an effect on her temper was necessary to Kim in lastly securing that elusive main.

“I believe motivation is vital to athletes,” Kim instructed CNN Sport. “If you do not have that motivation, you will not have the need and the thought to go ahead, so I believe motivation is basically necessary.

“I often take heed to lots of emotional music and watch humorous movies, however throughout the match I listened and watched stuff that may encourage me.

“I’ve at all times had regrets [about] my mentality [during tournaments], so this time I watched movies of how world leaders management their thoughts and overcome sure conditions, which I used to be in a position to empathize with in nervous and aggressive conditions.”

Kim poses with the trophy after winning the 2020 Women's PGA Championship.

Righting historical past

Since becoming a member of the LPGA Tour in 2013, Kim rapidly earned a status for being one of many extra profitable gamers. Her victory on the Girls’s PGA Championship in October was the 53rd time that Kim has completed within the prime 10. It was additionally her eleventh profession win.

A subsequent LPGA victory in her subsequent match on the Pelican Girls’s Championship gave Kim her twelfth profession title.

Previous to PGA success, the 27-year-old’s status as certainly one of ladies’s golf’s extra profitable gamers with out a main victory had gnawed at her.

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“Sure, I used to be conscious,” she revealed. “Different wins are invaluable as properly, however I longed for a significant, since I did not have one. It is so invaluable to have received the KPMG. It seems like I’ve accomplished the unfinished puzzle.”

Actually, the primary time Kim got here near profitable her debut main on the Girls’s PGA Championship in 2015 bore lots of similarities to her victory in Philadelphia.

In 2015, Kim was within the remaining group with the eventual winner, Inbee Park, ending 5 photographs behind her compatriot. This 12 months, Kim completed 5 photographs forward of the second-placed Park who was paired along with her within the remaining group.

Again in 2015, Park was already a five-time main champion, a status that left Kim “scared” of taking part in along with her. However 5 years on and with numerous hours of expertise on the course, she was in a position to overcome the “legend” Park.

“At the moment, I used to be a rookie and Inbee was about my present age,” Kim remembers. “Again then, I used to be filled with ardour to problem and win one way or the other, however this time, I believe my proficiency and competence was the explanation I used to be in a position to win quite than that type of ardour.

“I am in a distinct place now in comparison with then. I’ve the expertise of competing within the LPGA for six years, so now I can provide you with plans on what I’ve to do, quite than simply leaping into it like I used to.”

Inbee Park (second left) and her caddie walk down the fairway with  Kim (right) and her caddie during the final round of the 2015 Women's PGA Championship.

‘Go simple’

Whereas beforehand she may’ve tried too exhausting and been too inflexible at majors, enjoyable and taking part in her pure recreation on the Girls’s PGA Championship this 12 months was key to Kim’s success.

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“What I did in another way is, I used to play exhausting in different main tournaments as they’re at a excessive degree, however this time I made a decision to go easy regardless of the tough course. To go simple. I truly did not ask my caddie for info I may’ve requested for and performed solely being conscious of the space.

“I received conversant in the course throughout the apply spherical, however I did not get my caddie’s info on the place to hit the ball — the techniques I might say — that are often particular like: ‘It is this removed from the inexperienced, this many meters till the center level and the pin.’ However this time he solely instructed me the space to the pin and I simply performed, not minding different info.”

That familiarity labored wonders for the South Korean, as she shot a record-equalling remaining spherical of 63 having began the ultimate day two photographs forward of earlier main champions Anna Nordqvist and Brooke Henderson.

Kim shot seven birdies — 4 in 5 holes on the again 9 — to each tie the bottom spherical within the match’s historical past and likewise set a championship scoring document of 266.

In an try to channel the ending means of 15-major winner Tiger Woods, Kim additionally adopted the custom of carrying crimson clothes for the ultimate spherical of majors in center faculty.

And after taking part in properly in these crimson trousers — she says: “Tiger Woods wore crimson t-shirts, so I wished to repeat him, however crimson trousers labored higher than a crimson t-shirt!” — she believes it has turn into her “trademark.”

“Purple trouser is an efficient jinx for me. Once I put on this, I play properly, and it labored properly. So, now folks name it my trademark. It seems like I’ve turn into a personality!

“I repeatedly received after I wore crimson trousers, so the arrogance stored rising. Is not it superb?”

Kim chips onto the seventh green during the final round of the 2020 Women's PGA Championship.

Wanting forward

After chatting with her household shortly after her debut main victory on that memorable Sunday, Kim did not have lengthy to attend earlier than she was again on the airplane to South Korea.

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She says the 14-hour flight “felt so quick, like three to 4 hours. I used to be having my very own emotional competition throughout the flight,” she stated.

Kim’s PGA victory additionally demonstrated the power of the LPGA — 9 of the final 10 main champions had by no means received one earlier than.

And with 9 out of the highest 10 gamers in ladies’s golf under the age of 28 — the one one older being Inbee Park — Kim believes the latest competitiveness reveals the well being of ladies’s golf and the way its reputation and professionalism is rising.

“At present, the age of the gamers competing within the LPGA has gotten a lot youthful … Lifting weights was not a necessity earlier than, however now it’s extremely systematic, and I believe the gamers are spending extra time on the golf subject than earlier than.

Kim celebrates after winning the LPGA Pelican Women's Championship.

“Throughout apply, I felt that each one gamers have elevated their apply time in common. I do not assume the ladies gamers used to apply that a lot earlier than, however within the latest few years I may really feel the gamers have been considerably growing their apply time.”

Already the world No. 2, Kim now has the highest spot in her sights.

“I would prefer to win the remaining 4 majors and obtain a Grand Slam. I am rating second now, however I need to turn into the primary. Lengthy-term, I hope to make it to the Corridor of Fame — I believe that is my profession objective as a golfer.”



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