Young Kim, this season's fifth Rolex First-Time Winner, defeated fellow South Korean Mi Hyun Kim and Paula Creamer by three strokes.
Other South Korean players rushed to congratulate her on the 18th green, but Young Kim was overcome with emotion.
"I was crying at the time, so I couldn't see them," she told reporters.
Finishing with a 20-under 268 at Corning Country Club, Young Kim was four shots shy of the tournament record set by Juli Inkster four years ago. The $195,000 winner's check doubled her 2007 earnings to $328,442.
Young Kim started the day tied for the lead with Beth Bader, who was also going for her first tour title. Creamer tied for the lead Saturday by finishing with back-to-back birdies. The 20-year-old golfer could not, however, duplicate that brilliance Sunday.
"I tried," Creamer told the media. "Nothing really clicked. To tie for second and be in contention the way I played to me is good confidence-wise. That was hard. It was a difficult day."
Creamer was in a two-way tie for first with Kim after the latter shot consecutive bogeys one the eighth and ninth holes. But M.H. Kim jumped ahead of them with birdies on numbers 10 and 12.
M.H. Kim went on to bogey the 16th hole, as did Creamer on number 18, leaving Young Kim on top of the leaderboard for the first time in her career.
"I really feel great, and I cannot believe it," she told reporters. "Unbelievable."
Beth Bader ended up sharing fourth place with In-Kyun Kim at 16-under. A double bogey on the 18th hole cost Bader a three-way tie for second place. Pat Hurst and Natalie Gulbis finished tied for ninth.
May 27, 2007
Anyone looking back at the final scores of the 2009 Ricoh Women's British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Anne's will almost certainly come to the wrong conclusion that this was a comfortable three-shot win for Catriona Matthew. It was anything but as the seemingly imperturbable Scot struggled to hit a fairway throughout the final round and was only rescued by some superb recovery shots and a bunch of astonishing long putts.
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