Aramco Team Series: ‘Faultless’ Hyo-Joo Kim triumphs on home soil

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The World No. 12 fought off stiff competition from England’s Charley Hull to secure a debut victory in the Aramco Team Series.
Posted on
May 12, 2024
by
Jack Lumb in , , ,
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

SEOUL — Hyo-Joo Kim posted a final round of 4-under to beat Word No. 8 Charley Hull by three in the Aramco Team Series.

Kim started the day with a two-shot lead, yet despite carding two birdies on the front nine to climb to 8-under, the South Korean found herself in a two-horse race with Solheim Cup stalwart, Charley Hull.

Two-horse race at between Hull and Kim at the Aramco Team Series
Just one shot separated Hyo-Joo Kim and Charley Hull at the turn

After bogeying the first, Hull birdied five out of the next eight to get within one of Kim going into the back nine.

Kim said that Hull’s emphatic start made her feel she was “fighting for her life” on the course, but it was the kick she needed to step it up a gear.

“Charley did make a lot of birdies today, that’s why the competitiveness boiled up in me. If you’re playing with someone who’s making that many birdies, it brings out the best in you.”

Hull had the chance to level the playing field on the 11th after sticking it to within six feet off the tee but failed to capitalise.

Charley Hull playing her approach into the green
Hull carded five birdies on the front nine

Kim then birdied the 14th, 16th and 17th to carry a four-shot lead into the final hole.

Ultimately, an unblemished scorecard wasn’t to be for the 28-year-old, after failing to get down in two for par on the last.

However, the hard work had already been done and the South Korean tapped in for bogey to secure her first Ladies European Tour and Aramco Team Series title.

Kim said hasn’t been content with her performances this season, but today’s victory has provided her with the boost she needed.

“Before today's win, my performances hadn’t been satisfactory to my standards, but this win has served as a turning point for me.

I think I'm getting better and better at the important moments.”

Hyo-Joo Kim playing her approach into the green in front of her fans
Hyo-Joo Kim remained resolute in her performance

The script for the final day could have been very different, though.

Heavy rainfall on the second day called a halt to the afternoon’s play, preventing Kim from finishing.

The South Korean star was level par for the day when the klaxon sounded and admitted she was struggling to score as the inclement weather worsened.

When play resumed on Sunday morning, Kim carded three birdies and a bogey to assume a two-stroke lead before the final round commenced.

The 2014 Evian Champion believes the delay provided her a much-needed chance to regroup before hitting the ground running the following day.

“When the game stopped, it was a good opportunity for me to get back on track. It worked in my favour.”

Hyo-Joo Kim's devoted fan base, the shooting stars
Hyo-Joo Kim was followed religiously by her devoted fan base, the Shooting Stars

Kim’s performance was nothing short of faultless this week — hitting 14/14 FIR and 17/18 GIR in the first round — yet, on the whole, the World No. 12 feels as though there’s more work to be done.

“I am going to have a party this evening, but I had a lot of misses today so the celebrations will only last two days and then I'll get back to practicing.”

In all, Hyo-Joo Kim's victory seems a fitting end to a superb final round, and what has been a tremendous few days off golf at the New Korea Country Club.

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About Jack Lumb

Jack is the editor of Golf Today. Having spent ten years playing competitively at a high amateur level and five years at county, he has carried his knowledge of the game into the world of journalism. He once set the course record at his home club, only for it to be beaten a month later.

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