Canberra’s Nikki Campbell finished runner up to IK Kim at the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters in England.
The Rolex World No. 24, Kim, cruise to a five shot victory at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club finishing at 18-under-par.
Four birdies on the front nine in a round of 68 saw the 26-year-old South Korean end on a four-round total of 18-under-par, holding off the challenge of Campbell, who had two eagles and a birdie in her 67.
Rising star Stephanie Meadow from Northern Ireland, playing in her second event as a professional after finishing third two weeks earlier at the US Women’s Open, equalled the course record with nine birdies in a 63. She ended in a share of third on 11-under-par, alongside South African Lee-Anne Pace and Germany’s Caroline Masson.
In bright and breezy conditions, Kim collected her fifth victory as a professional and her first since the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational. She said that caddie, Gerald Adams, whose nose was broken by a stray golf ball during the Pro-Am on Wednesday, had inspired her to win the event.
“It’s amazing that he was caddying for me on Thursday because he got hit by a golf ball on Wednesday and was bleeding everywhere. His attitude towards living and daily life is inspiring to me and many people on the tour,” said Kim.
Adams recovered from prostate cancer last year. The World No.24 continued: “I just had a great time. It’s great to win the tournament and this is my first time playing the course so I’m really honoured to win the championship. I feel like I’ve been hitting the ball really well and putting really well so I just had to go out there and enjoy myself.”
Campbell, who played with Kim for the first three rounds, commented: “I played really well but couldn’t catch IK. I’m happy with second.” The Canberra golfer took home a cheque for Euro 50,750 and has moved to second on the ISPS Handa Order of Merit.
Another Aussie finished in the top 10, 36 hole leader, Sarah Kemp. A final round of 71 saw her finish at 10-under and tied for sixth. Unfortunately amateur Minjee Lee could not reproduce the form from earlier in the week and settled for a 73 on Sunday to finish at nine-under and just outside the top 10 in a share of 11th position. It is another great experience for the talented teenager from WA.
Queensland’s Sarah Jane Smith (71) ended the event a further shot back and tied for 14th. Karrie Webb signed for a 70 and finished tied for 20th at five-under. Stephanie Na (73) and amateur Su-Hyun Oh (75) finished tied for 24th. Rebecca Artis (71) finished tied for 48th at three-over. Nikki Garrett (73) and Bree Arthur (72) completed the tournament at seven-over and in a share of 64th position.
American Hannah Jun and Ladies European Tour rookies Amy Boulden and Sally Watson could celebrate on Sunday evening after qualifying for this week’s major championship (RICOH Women’s British Open), as the leading three Ladies European Tour members not otherwise exempt.