Posted by: happyfan08 | May 23, 2009

KLPGA Doosan Match Play Day 3

At the start of day three 16 golfers remained standing, including 7 of the top 8.  By the end of the day there would be only 4 left, as both the round of 16 and quarterfinals would be played on this day.  Who would come out on top?  Let’s find out!

Quarter 1
The first quarter featured the top player in the KLPGA, Hee Kyung Seo, and the event’s defending champion, Bo Kyung Kim.  #1 Seo was matched against #16 Hye Jin Jung in match one.  It was an up and down front nine for Seo, who made two birdies but also two bogies in that stretch.  Jung took a two up lead after nine.  Jung made all pars the rest of the way, but Seo would make birdie, then bogey, not able to cut into the lead.  In the end, Jung pulled off the upset of the tournament, downing Seo 2 & 1.

In the other match, #8 Bo Kyung Kim duked it out with #9 Chae Young Yoon.  This match was as close as the seeds would indicate, with Kim falling one down by the turn, but battling back with two birdies on 15 and 16 to claim the 1 up win.

In the quarterfinals, Bo Kyung Kim met Hye Jin Jung.  Jung grabbed the 2 up lead by the turn, but on the back, Kim did herself in with three straight bogies to fall to 5 down.  Jung cruised to a 5 & 3 win, advancing to the semifinals.

Hye Jin Jung

Hye Jin Jung

Quarter 2
This section featured #4 Sun Ju Ahn and #5 So Yeon Ryu.  Ahn’s round of 16 match was against #13 Sul Ah Yoon.  Yoon grabbed a 1 up lead by 11, then made birdie on 12 to go to 2 up.  When Ahn made bogey on 13, she fell 3 down and eventually lost 4 & 3.   Another seed falls!

Ryu had just finished a tough round of 32 match against a strong rookie, Soo Jin Yang.  Now she had another rookie to face, #44 Shin Ae Ahn.  This one was close all the way.  Ryu fell to 1 down, but squared the match at 13 when Ahn bogied.  In the end, they were square after 18 holes, meaning Ryu had her second straight playoff against a rookie star.  Once again, it was Ryu who prevailed in 19 holes.  Whew!

So Ryu faced Sul Ah Yoon in the quarterfinals.  This one went a little easier at first, with Ryu making birdie on 3 of her first four holes to grab a 3 up lead.  She maintained the lead the rest of the day and won her match 2 & 1.  So at least one name player made it through to the final four.

So Yeon Ryu

So Yeon Ryu

Quarter 3
#63 Hyun Joo Lee was the Cinderella of the tournament so far.  She beat #2 Ha Neul Kim and now face #50 Anna Oh in the round of 16.  #7 Ran Hong was pitted against #42 Min Ji Nam.

Lee and Oh were close for a while, but on the back nine it was all Lee, and she won her match 3 & 2.  Hong flat out dominated her match 5 & 4, setting up the quarterfinal meeting with Lee.

It’s not clear what Lee has been doing right, but her Cinderella story continued in the quarters, where she annihilated Ran Hong.  She was 5 up after 8, and was never seriously threatened, winning 4 & 3.

Hyun Joo Lee

Hyun Joo Lee

Quarter 4
#3 He Yong Choi battled #19 Ji Hye Jang in one match, while #6 Hye Youn Kim battled rookie #54 Soo Hwa Jang in the other.  Both top seeds would come through, setting up the only battle between two top seeds in the quarters.  Choi won her match 2 & 1, while Kim bested Jang 4 & 3.

In the quarters, He Yong had surprisingly little trouble with her fellow second year star Hye Youn.  She quickly got out to a 3 up lead and cruised to a 4 & 3 win.

He Yong Choi

He Yong Choi

So in the end, two of the final four are ranked players, the other two relative unknowns.  The two semifinal matches will be:

#3 He Yong Choi vs. #63 Hyun Joo Lee
#5 So Yeon Ryu vs. #16 Hye Jin Jung

Now, all four players are doubtless worthy, but if somehow Ryu and Choi win, we would set up a classic confrontation for the title.  These two players have battled each other since they first started the game.  They were both on the Korean team when they won gold at the 2006 Asian games (with Ryu winning individual gold and Choi bronze).  They fought all year for the 2008 Rookie of the Year title before Choi prevailed.  A final between those two would be drama at its highest.

But regardless of who meets in the finals, all four ladies have done a bang up job to get this far.  Congratulations!

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