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Kim makes birdie to win $1.5M in LPGA finale

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NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Sei Young Kim made the putt of her life, a 25-foot birdie on the final hole of the CME Group Tour Championship to win $1.5 million, the richest prize in the history of women’s golf.

Kim closed with a 2-under 70 to beat an unlikely foe Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

Charley Hull of England birdied her last three holes for a 66, the last one a 12-footer that gave her a tie for the lead. Kim, who looked shaky in missing three straight birdie chances from 12 feet, tugged her 6-iron to the top of a crown at the bag of the green. The winning putt — the money putt — was hit with perfect pace and broke sharply to the right and into the cup as Kim pumped her fists in disbelief.

She finished a wire-to-wire victory for her third LPGA Tour title of the year and 10th of her career.

This was memorable for the finish and the reward.

Instead of a $500,000 first-place check and a $1 million bonus to a season points race, CME Globe wanted to award $1.5 million in official money to any of the 60 players who qualified for the season finale. That’s $500,000 more than the previous record prize, $1 million at the U.S. Women’s Open.

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