The Loop

How She Hit That: Sei Young Kim's putter-free winning technique

April 20, 2015

Every player dreams of sinking the winning putt on the last hole. LPGA rookie Sei Young Kim got it done in a dramatically different way at the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii.

Kim recovered from a rinsed tee shot on the 18th hole by chipping in for par to force a playoff with Inbee Park. On the next hole, she jarred an 8-iron from 154 yards for eagle to win in sudden death. It was the 22-year-old's second win of the season, and it is unlikely she'll ever have another as pulse-pounding.

On both shots, solid fundamentals put her in position for success under intense pressure. "On the chip, she gets herself almost into a putting position," says Lukas McNair, who teaches at the Hank Haney Vista Ridge Golf Ranch outside Dallas. "She has the shaft standing more upright, and her body weight is forward. The stroke is putter-like, and the ball gets rolling like one."

Kim's full swing is also pure. Her eyes stay level to the ground on both the back and forward swings, which helps her preserve a consistent swing plane, says McNair. "That's something you can practice yourself at home, with a mirror. Watch yourself as you slowly turn back and through. If you can keep your eyes level, you're going to hit much more solid and accurate shots."