San Jose’s Christina Kim Returns to Winners’ Circle
November 17, 2014
After a nine-year streak of going without a victory, San Jose’s Christina Kim has returned to the LPGA Tour winners’ circle.
On Sunday, Kim won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico, tapping in for par on the 18th on the second extra playoff hole at Club de Golf Mexico to defeat Shanshan Feng. It marked the 30-year-old’s first win since the Tournament of Champions in November 2005, ending a 221-tournament victory drought. Kim’s other win came at the 2004 Longs Drug Challenge.
Not surprisingly, Kim was a bit emotional after the win.
“This is the greatest win in my life, without a doubt,” said Kim, who celebrated by dancing and jumping up and down on the green. “I can’t put into words how I’m feeling right now. I’m still riding so many emotions. It feels surreal. I can’t explain. I’m so overwhelmed right now. I’m so proud and honored to be a champion for such an incredible tournament.”
Joining in the celebration was caddie T.J. Jones, boyfriend Duncan French and friend Michelle Wie. Wie, who has French as a caddie, also shed some tears. Even Feng, who lost in the playoff, was happy for Kim.
“She jumped up and she was really happy,” Feng said. “I felt the same thing. I was really happy for her because she’s a good player, good person.”
On the second playoff hole, Feng, who hails from China, pulled her drive left with her ball settling too close to a tree truck for her to do anything but chip sideways into the fairway. With Kim already pin high 20 feet right of the hole, Feng hit her 9-iron approach to 25 feet — also to the right. Her par putt slid by the right edge, and Kim two-putted for the win.
Afterwards, Kim mentioned some sage advice she received from her mother during her victory drought.
“No matter how dark it is, there’s always a sunrise,” Kim’s mother told her daughter.