For somebody who had beforehand had a status for being very profitable on the Women Skilled Golf Affiliation (LPGA) Tour and not using a main victory, specializing in her psychological state and utilizing music to have an effect on her temper was essential to Kim in lastly securing that elusive main.
“I feel motivation is important to athletes,” Kim instructed CNN Sport. “If you do not have that motivation, you will not have the desire and the thought to go ahead, so I feel motivation is admittedly essential.
“I often hearken to loads of emotional music and watch humorous movies, however through the event I listened and watched stuff that will inspire me.
“I’ve all the time 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 capable of empathize with in nervous and aggressive conditions.”
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 event on the Pelican Girls’s Championship gave Kim her twelfth profession title.
Previous to PGA success, the 27-year-old’s status as one in all girls’s golf’s extra profitable gamers and not using a main victory had gnawed at her.
“Sure, I used to be conscious,” she revealed. “Different wins are helpful as properly, however I longed for a significant, since I did not have one. It is so helpful to have received the KPMG. It looks like I’ve accomplished the unfinished puzzle.”
In actual fact, the primary time Kim got here near profitable her debut main on the Girls’s PGA Championship in 2015 bore loads of similarities to her victory in Philadelphia.
In 2015, Kim was within the remaining group with the eventual winner, Inbee Park, ending 5 pictures behind her compatriot. This 12 months, Kim completed 5 pictures forward of the second-placed Park who was paired together 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 together with her. However 5 years on and with numerous hours of expertise on the course, she was capable of 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 someway, however this time, I feel my proficiency and competence was the explanation I used to be capable of win quite than that form 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 give you plans on what I’ve to do, quite than simply leaping into it like I used to.”
Whereas beforehand she would possibly’ve tried too onerous and been too inflexible at majors, stress-free and taking part in her pure recreation on the Girls’s PGA Championship this 12 months was key to Kim’s success.
“What I did in another way is, I used to play onerous in different main tournaments as they’re at a excessive stage, however this time I made a decision to go easy regardless of the tough course. To go simple. I really did not ask my caddie for info I might’ve requested for and performed solely being conscious of the gap.
“I bought aware of the course through the apply spherical, however I did not get my caddie’s info on the place to hit the ball — the techniques I’d 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 gap 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 pictures 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 event’s historical past and in addition set a championship scoring file of 266.
In an try to channel the ending capability 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 out to be her “trademark.”
“Pink trouser is an effective jinx for me. Once I put on this, I play properly, and it labored properly. So, now folks name it my trademark. It looks like I’ve turn out to be a personality!
“I repeatedly received once I wore crimson trousers, so the arrogance saved rising. Is not it superb?”
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.
She says the 14-hour flight “felt so quick, like three to 4 hours. I used to be having my very own emotional competition through 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 girls’s golf under the age of 28 — the one one older being Inbee Park — Kim believes the latest competitiveness exhibits the well being of girls’s golf and the way its recognition and professionalism is rising.
“At the moment, 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 feel the gamers are spending extra time on the golf discipline than earlier than.
“Throughout apply, I felt that each one gamers have elevated their apply time in common. I do not suppose the ladies gamers used to apply that a lot earlier than, however within the latest few years I might 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 remainder 4 majors and obtain a Grand Slam. I am rating second now, however I need to turn out to be the primary. Lengthy-term, I hope to make it to the Corridor of Fame — I feel that is my profession purpose as a golfer.”