DUBAI, Nov 7 — In-Kyung Kim returns to the scene of her 2009 victory at the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic, aiming to cap her first career multiple-win season with another successful shot at the title at Emirates Golf Club in December.
Riding high on confidence after racking up three wins this year, highlighted by her first major success at the Women’s British Open, the 29-year-old insists she has no intention of taking her foot off the pedal when she joins Dame Laura Davies, Brittany Lincicome, Suzann Pettersen, among other top-draws, in a strong field.
Kim shot a final round 68, hitting 100 per cent greens on the back nine, to hold off a late charge from American Michelle Wie, who signed for a 63, to claim a three-shot victory at the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic, announcing her arrival on the Ladies European Tour in style.
Much water has flowed under the bridge since her winning debut in Dubai, but Kim could pick up plenty of good vibes to enjoy the ride. “I always have fun playing in Dubai. They have a great field each year and that makes things interesting. Hopefully, I will be in good form during the week,” said the South Korean ahead of the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic to be held from December 6 to 9.
Kim’s bid to defend her title may have fallen short in 2010, but her tied sixth place finish contributed to her winning the Ladies European Tour Rookie of the Year award that year. “I have so many memories of Dubai that stand out and look forward to having another fun week in Dubai,” said Kim, who boasts 10 career wins in addition to two seconds in major championships since turning professional in 2006.
“I really like playing the Majlis course. They have some good holes, dogleg left and right, and you have to kind of pick the right target to hit the fairway. So, it’s cool to come and play in Dubai,” said Kim whose career is no longer be defined by the 14-inch par putt she missed on the 72nd green at the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship — now called the ANA Inspiration — that cost her the title.
“I had already experienced the worst. Having fun out there is important to me and that’s what I tried to do. I have learnt to give every effort to every shot. A three-foot putt is just as important as any shot, and that’s what I learned from that mistake,” she was quoted as saying after Women’s British Open victory in August.
Kim, who is the season’s second multiple winner on the LPGA Tour, joining her countrywoman So Yeon Ryu, is part of a growing army of South Koreans, both males and females, who have lit up the tour events with their immense talent. Scientific studies attribute it to their natural talent to make things skillfully with their hands, a trait handed down from generation to generation for thousands of years.
“We look forward to welcoming our former champion. Kim is a great talent and it will be a treat to watch her graceful swing. With her victory in 2009 and a top-six a year later, she has won many friends in Dubai and I think they will turn up in large numbers to cheer her on,” said Peter Dawson, chairman of Golf in Dubai, the promoters and organisers of the event.
“I have great respect for South Korean golfers. They put everything they have into achieving their goals: no half measures. That’s why they are so driven and motivated. I wish Kim the very best and hope she has a wonderful outing in Dubai.”
Meanwhile, entry to the tournament is free, but fans must register online for tickets. The daily Clubhouse Terrace Hospitality ticket is priced at Dh275 and the season Clubhouse Terrace Hospitality pass is available for Dh1,100. Golf enthusiasts may visit the tournament website omegadubailadiesclassic.com for more information.