Kim hangs on for China LPGA int'l qualifier win

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Kim Ji-min completed a wire-to-wire victory at the China LPGA Tour International Qualifying Tournament on Friday when the South Korean carded an even-par 72 for a two-under 214 score in the 54-hole tournament in Guangdong province.

Compatriot Kim Ji-su finished runner-up two shots back after shooting a final round 71 over the Colin Montgomerie-designed Zhuhai Golden Gulf layout. Jeong Hye-yoon (70) bolstered the South Korean dominance in placing equal-third finish with Thailand's Khanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul (70) at three shots back.

Fellow Thais Chorphaka Jaengkit (74), Wanchana Poruangrong (70) and Titiya Plucksataporn (70) were fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.

The top 30 players (excluding ties) earned their playing card for the 2016 China LPGA Tour season, tentatively scheduled to feature 17 events.

Despite winning the qualifier with an adventurous final round that include an eagle, three birdies and five bogeys, Kim, who won a domestic event in South Korea two weeks ago, said she still needed to improve her game.

"Today my driver was kind of out of control and the lie of the tee shots were not good, always off the fairway or in the bunker. Fortunately, my putting was fine and saved me many pars," she said.

Kim, whose eagle at the 16th hole came when she found the hole with a 58-degree wedge from about 70 yards out, said she planned to make the China LPGA circuit her home tour this year.

"It feels good to play in China and I expect many new experiences here. I will not set any goals in this new season, instead just enjoy Tour life. I hope to keep my full card for the China LPGA Tour after this year and just work hard."

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