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Kim Hyo-joo bags Lotte Championship


South Korea's Kim Hyo-joo held off Hinako Shibuno to win the LPGA Lotte Championship by two strokes on Saturday.

Kim teed off with a three-shot lead and was four up after birdies at the fifth and eighth holes at Hoakalei Country Club in Hawaii.

But Japan's Shibuno, with birdies at the fourth and 11th, was within one stroke after Kim bogeyed the ninth and 17th.

Kim then missed the fairway at the par-five 18th, her second shot finding the rough.

However, her wedge from the rough rolled within a foot of the cup to leave her a tap-in for birdie that all but sealed the win over Shibuno, who was in a greenside bunker.

Kim signed for a one-under par 71 and an 11-under par total of 277. She notched her fifth LPGA title, a cache that includes her major victory at the Evian Championship in 2014, before she was a member of the LPGA Tour.

"There were a lot of expectations but also a lot of support coming from friends and family as well," said Kim, who had led by three shots after the second and third rounds.

"There have been ups and downs and I think I am at the up part right now and I feel very proud, a little confident about the future and the outlook looks bright for me and I feel like I can do better moving forward."

Shibuno, the 2019 Women's British Open winner, carded a two-under 70 for 279.

South Korea's Choi Hye-jin was alone in third on 281 after a three-under par 69, with Ashleigh Buhai of South Africa fourth with a 70 for 282.


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