News & Opinion

Sei Young Kim rides momentum into U.S. Women’s Open

Sei Young Kim before 2020 U.S. Women's Open
Sei Young Kim is on a roll entering this week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Champions Golf Club in Houston.

After winning in her past 2 starts on the LPGA, South Korean has a shot at the No. 1 world ranking this week at Champions Golf Club

Sei Young Kim enters this week’s U.S. Women’s Open with equal parts momentum and incentive.

The 26-year-old South Korean has won in her past two LPGA starts – the Women’s PGA and the Pelican Women’s Championship – and, should she win this week at Houston’s Champions Golf Club, would move to No. 1 in the world ranking.

“I think there's a bit more pressure being a major champion coming to a major tournament, but again, nothing is going to change with my preparation,” she said this week. “I'm going to try to stay composed and try to finish strong.” Kim is No. 2 in the Rolex Rankings, behind countrywoman Jin Young Ko.

“Obviously it would feel incredible,” she said. “Since I was young, I dreamt of being No. 1 in the world one day, and I'm glad that I have a chance to do that.”

Kim, the LPGA’s 2015 rookie of the year after a three-victory debut season, has won 12 times on the U.S. tour and five times on the Korean LPGA. She leads the tour in scoring average this year, at 68.11, and greens in regulation (78.4 percent) and is the frontrunner for player of the year.

“This season, what's been different was I was able to be consistent with my performance,” Kim said. “And because I'm playing well, I just want to continue on this momentum and try to finish strong every tournament.”

Kim will be paired with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and American Brittany Altomare at 10:48 a.m. CST Thursday off the No. 10 tee at the Jackrabbit Course, which will be used with the Cypress Creek Course for the first 36 holes (tee times). The top 60 and ties will return on the weekend for the final two rounds at Cypress Creek.

Two groups behind Kim, the USGA grouped the Nos. 1-2-3 players in driving distance: Philippines’ Bianca Pagdanganan, Netherlands’ Anne van Dam and Mexico’s Maria Fassi.

American Angela Stanford, a lifelong Fort Worth resident who won the Volunteers of America Classic last week near her hometown, will be in the first pairing, at 9:20 a.m. at Cypress Creek’s No. 1 tee. She will be grouped with England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen.

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