Posted by: happyfan08 | September 18, 2009

KLPGA: Shinsegae KLPGA Championship rd 3

The first two rounds of the Shinsegae had produced some extremely low scoring.  It seemed likely that the winner of this event was going to have to go ultra low in order to take the top prize.  If so, that meant that the players up near the top of the leaderboard were the most likely to become the year’s second Major winner; a come from behind golfer would need to be extremely brilliant to make up significant ground.

Indeed, that’s exactly how things turned out.  Sun Ju Ahn, for instance, started the day in 7th at 8 under total.  Despite shooting a respectable 69, she only climbed to 5th by the end of the day.

Top KLPGA star So Yeon Ryu continued to wallow far back, shooting her second straight 72 to finish in a tie for 23rd.  Ha Neul Kim did a bit better, finishing at 8 under total for the week.  But none of those stars were going to be winning this Major.

Ha Neul Kim

Ha Neul Kim

So Yeon Ryu

So Yeon Ryu

The three players at the top of the leaderboard at the start of the day were unproven Yoon Hee Jo, one time tour winner Jung Eun Lee 5, and KLPGA superstar Hee Kyung Seo.  Jo stumbled with an early bogey and was never a factor again, which left the other two to duke it out for the title the rest of the day.

Seo played well, notching four birdies and no bogies on her front nine to move to 15 under total.  But Lee did not give an inch; she made three straight birdies early and finished her front nine also at 15 under.  Lee made two more birdies at 11 and 12, and clung onto that two shot lead for several more holes.

Jung Eun Lee 5

Jung Eun Lee 5

Seo continued to make par after par as she slowly ran out of holes.  If she could not make some birdies, her shot at continuing her Grand Slam quest would come to an end. 

Hee Kyung Seo

Hee Kyung Seo

Finally, on the 17th hole, Lee made another birdie to move to a three shot lead.  Seo did birdie 18, but it was too little, too late, and Jung Eun Lee captured the crown.  In the end, Hee Kyung Seo had a fabulous 67, but Jung Eun Lee’s score was her third straight 66 for an 18 under total.

Jung Eun Lee 5

Jung Eun Lee 5

It was an amazing tournament for Jung Eun Lee, who captured her first Major by holding off the season’s previous Major winner, who was also playing well.  Is Lee ready to assert herself as one of the top stars on tour?  Maybe, but for now, she can enjoy the fruits of a fantastic victory.

Jung Eun Lee 5

Jung Eun Lee 5

(PS – for those wondering, the ‘5’ is not part of her name.  The way the KLPGA tells the difference between different players with the exact same name is to append numbers at the end of their names.  So, there have been other players named Jung Eun Lee, but Jung Eun Lee 5 is a unique name).

Scores:
1. Jung Eun Lee 5 66-66-66 -18
2. Hee Kyung Seo 66-67-67 -16
3. Hyun Hwa Shim 67-69-68 -12
Ae Ri Pyun 66-69-69 -12
5. Shin Ae Ahn (R) 70-66-69 -11
Sun Ju Ahn 71-65-69 -11
Yoon Hee Jo 67-65-73 -11

Notables:
8. Bo Mee Lee 69-67-70 -10
11. Hye Youn Kim 71-71-65 -9
Jin Joo Hong 68-69-70 -9
Aram Cho 68-66-73 -9
17. Seon Hwa Lee 2 (R) 68-72-68 -8
Ha Neul Kim 69-68-71 -8
21. Young Ran Jo 71-67-71 -7
23. He Yong Choi 71-70-69 -6
Bobea Park 70-71-69 -6
So Yeon Ryu 68-70-72 -6
Ji Yeon Lee 70-69-71 -6
33. Da Na Kang (R) 68-68-75 -5
39. Hyun Hee Moon 70-71-72 -3
50. Ran Hong 72-71-72 -1
Ji Na Lim 71-71-73 -1
56. Soo Young Moon 71-70-75 Even

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