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Kim takes State Farm with birdie flurry

KIM In-kyung finished with a flourish on Sunday, sinking birdies on two of her final three holes to capture the State Farm Classic in Illinois by a stroke over Pak Se-ri.

Kim fired a 7-under 65 to finish at 17-under 271, giving the South Korean her second Tour victory along with a big momentum boost heading into the LPGA Championship next week at Bulle Rock. In the process, she denied Pak (66) her first win in two years.

South Koreans Han Hee-won (65) and Lee Jee-young (66) and American Angela Stanford (67) finished two shots behind Kim.

Third-round co-leader Cristie Kerr (70) of the US finished at 14 under along with Korean Ji Eun-hee (63), Paula Creamer (65), Suzann Pettersen (68), Japan's Ai Miyazato (68), Amy Hung (68) and another South Korean Shin Ji-yai (70).

But in a star-studded tournament that featured 49 of the top 50 money winners, Kim's finish gave her the US$255,000 first prize - and a pretty good birthday present. She turns 21 next week.

She was at 15-under before burying back-to-back birdies on the par-5 16th and par-3 17th, and nearly made it three straight at the 18th when her 13-foot putt stopped on the edge of the cup.

Right after she walked off the course, play was suspended for 20 minutes due to lightning in the area, but it was already clear that she was going to win even with two groups still on the course.

"My game was pretty ready," said Kim, who won the Longs Drugs Challenge last year and was runner-up at the Michelob Ultra Open in Mexico last month.

"I can't control winning, so I have to play my best."


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