Sei Young Kim held a one-shot lead over Lexi Thompson heading into the final round of the Marathon Classic and then did what good players do when they have the lead—put the hammer down.
It wasn’t just that Kim made seven birdies in her first 15 holes Sunday, but the fact that many of them were via approach shots to close range, including one that lipped the cup at the 11th holes. It was a display not lost on Thompson, who would finish two shots behind Kim by day’s end.
"She went through a stretch on the front nine and going into the back where she stuck every shot,” said Thompson. “[She] had under five feet about four times in a row.”
In all, Kim hit 57 of 72 greens, with no fewer than 14 in any round, a remarkable display of ball-striking consistency. Kim’s irons are Mizuno's JPX 919 Tour—irons with a selectively thinned topline that allowed the company’s engineers to relocate the saved mass in the toe and sole to provide optimum forgiveness. Kim also pulled off a pair of lob shots that were impressive under any circumstances, but more so given that her highest-lofted wedge is a Titleist Vokey SM7 56-degree model. Kim shrugged off the difficulty of doing so with such a relatively low-lofted wedge, saying, “I just try hit the ball to the sky and that makes a good result.”
Kim also had an advantage off the tee, using her TaylorMade M5 driver (with both weights moved forward to reduce spin and lower ball flight), averaging 285 yards off the tee for the week and a ridiculous 323 yards for her two measured drives in the third round.
What Sei Young Kim had in the bag at the Marathon Classic:
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Driver: TaylorMade M5, 9.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade M5, 14 degrees
5-wood: TaylorMade M5, 19 degrees
Hybrid: Callaway Rogue, 21 degrees
Irons (4-PW): Mizuno JPX 919 Tour
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (50, 56 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron by Titleist TN2