Sei Young Kim has yet to divulge the YouTube sensations that gave the 25-year-old South Korean the peace of mind to dominate a golf tournament over four days like no other golfer in the 68-year history of the LPGA Tour.
It could have been one of the many interviews with famed sports psychologist Bob Rotella. It's possible she had translated into her native tongue the 1-hour, 43-minute narration of "Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game" by its author Joseph Parent. Or perhaps Kim opted for one of the stimulating videos in the ample YouTube inventory from Swami Satchidananda, whose titles include "Quieting The Mind's Turbulence" and "Make Failures Your Stepping Stones."
Whatever it was that Kim absorbed from her binge-watching of motivational Internet videos following an ordinary outing last week at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship near Chicago, it worked this week at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic outside of Green Bay.
After failing to find any magic in a 71-71-71-74 week's work at Kemper Lakes in the third of five major championships, Kim uncorked a turnaround of historic proportions with her 63-65-64-65 beatdown of Thornberry Creek at Oneida. She had matched the LPGA's all-time record for score in relation to par when her third birdie of the day on No. 6 got her to 27-under-par for the week.
Four birdies later, Kim had obliterated that mark with her winning total of 31-under 257 and, with it, bettered by one shot the lowest 72-hole score in LPGA Tour history. Her 32 sub-par holes — the only blemish on any of Kim's record-setting scorecards was a double-bogey on the 17th hole of her second round — were also an LPGA Tour mark, two more than the previous LPGA record.
The 2,080th tournament LPGA event ever played was truly one for the books — the record books, that is. It also spoke to the power of YouTube videos.
"Well, after last week I was disappointed because I prepared a lot with my caddie for the major," Kim said Saturday. "It wasn't good result. I kept think about it, What's wrong with me? I just (wanted) ask to somebody, but that's not right answer, so I (went) to the YouTube, how to make the mind stronger. Yeah, I watche(d) a lot of video. That ... help (make) my mindset stronger."
Sunday, however, was the real test. Kim had only converted two of her four previous 54-hole leads into victories and, this time, she had eight shots to play with so, in a way, the only golfer standing between her and a seventh career victory was the one whose reflection could be seen in the distinct Sky Woman Trophy as Kim hoisted it after finishing nine shots clear of the field.
Spain's Carlota Ciganda double-bogeyed her final hole to shoot 64 and finish alone in second at 22-under 266. Three others finished 11 back at 268.
"I really feel like (it's) unreal," Kim said afterward. "I never thought about (shooting) 31-under. ... It's really unbelievable."
While Thornberry Creek — playing a shade under 6,600 yards with wide fairways and receptive greens — has been a generous layout in its first two years hosting this event, this year yielding 1,845 birdies and 38 eagles over four days, Kim's overall excellence was perhaps what was most unbelievable.
Kim hit 17 of 18 greens amid all the pressure Sunday of trying to close out a historic week and finished 67-for-72 in that department over 72 holes. She wasn't quite as precise off the tee, hitting 43 of 56 fairways, and her 115 putts ranked 19th but her putts per greens in regulation (1.63) ranked third.
"That was amazing," Amy Yang, who shot 68 and was among those tied for third, said of her final-round playing partner. "She shot 7-under (Sunday) without any bogey(s). It was amazing out there watching her."
Others had only the leaderboard to go off in seeing what Kim was doing.
"I just looked at my caddie and I was like, '30-under?'" said rookie Emma Talley (67), the top American finisher (tied for third). "That's unbelievable. If you would have told me (at the start of the week) that would be the winning score, I would've been like, 'There's no way someone is going that low.'"
There was a point Sunday when even Kim wasn't sure she would be able to keep up her record-setting pace, despite having virtually clinched victory.
"When I warm up this afternoon, I was feel(ing) a little bit different than the third round because (there was) a little bit of pressure," Kim said of chasing the records. "And then after that, I think about how do you handle the nerves (Sunday)? Maybe it's going to be really a hard time or really (a) good time."
In the end, the good times rolled, just as those YouTube videos suggested they would.
"If you type 'how to make stronger your mental (game),' you can see all the videos," said Kim, who figures she watched about five of them. "There is the kind of the same story. Just trust yourself. Imagine what you want.
"I didn't trust that before this week, but it's weird. This week, I really wanted to (do) something. I want to believe something. I believed that and I trust(ed) that, (just like) what they were talking (about). And then, yeah, just go."
Kim went alright, deep into the LPGA Tour record book.