World No.2 Minjee Lee threatened to claim a second consecutive title, after last week's win at the LA Open, as she lurked just two shots off the lead midway through the final round at a cold Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City.

But her even-par 72 left her at four under and three shots outside of a three-way playoff between Kim, her fellow South Korean Jeongeun Lee6 and England's Bronte Law.

Lee finished in a tie for eighth while third-round leader Kim recovered from a three-over par 75 on Sunday by making birdie on the first extra hole to improve her perfect play-off record to 4-0.

Law stormed into contention with a closing seven-under 65 to set an early target at seven-under 281, which was matched by Lee6 (67) and Kim, who made a birdie on the par-5 18th in regulation to make the playoff.

RIGHT: Lee finished T8th, three shots out of the playoff at Lake Merced. PHOTO: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images.

Kim won for the eighth time on the LPGA Tour despite a double-bogey, bogey start on Sunday and two further bogeys in her final round.

"It was really frustrating, starting really bad," 25-year-old Kim told Golf Channel.

"Even then I try to keep going and focus."

"My position is last group so all day I've got a lot of pressure. I'm still almost my heart came out."

Law, 24, had threatened to pull off a comeback for the ages after starting the day 10 strokes behind overnight leader Kim.

"Ultimately, waiting around that long is tough, to even get back into the mindset of, like, 'OK, I got to go out and play again,’” Law said.

"But that's part of the job."

Lexi Thompson, Amy Yang and Eun-Hee Ji all closed with rounds of 71 to share fourth at five under with Charley Hull (74).