Posted by: happyfan08 | January 7, 2016

2015 SeoulSisters Awards (3 of 6): Most Fashionable, Best Shot, Best Round

AWARD for Most Fashionable

I feel as though I should name this the “Soo Jin Yang Most Fashionable Award”. Yang might not always hit it out of the ballpark, but there is no Korean golfer who more often takes risks, and scores with them, than she.

This year, instead of picking a winner, I will provide a few of the more eye-catching outfits the Sisters sported in 2015, including a collection of Soo Jin Yang’s latest looks. Decide for yourself who is the queen!

Some of Soo Jin’s Greatest Hits of the Year

Soo Jin Yang

One internet wag in Korea likened this outfit to “Super Mario”

Soo Jin Yang

Soo Jin

No joke: this is probably my favorite outfit Soo Jin wore all year. It’s just a really happy look! Maybe it’s the smiley faces hidden among the polka dots?

Soo Jin

Soo Jin

Soo Jin

Soo Jin

Soo Jin

Q Baek with an interesting design

Q Baek

Hye Jin Jung sports a nifty striped top and short shorts combo

Hye Jin Jung

Hye Jin Jung

Hee Young Park aka The Rocket

Hee Young Park

So Yeon Ryu represents for the LPGA with this killer star top

So Yeon Ryu

Ha Neul Kim played in Japan this year and was a bit off the radar, but here’s a nice look from this always fashionable star

Ha Neul Kim

The KLPGA’s Song Yi Ahn

Song Yi Ahn

The KLPGA’s biggest star, In Gee Chun, also had some interesting outfits in 2015

In Gee Chun’s pants look a little like denim

In Gee Chun

In Gee Chun liked this type of skirt in 2015; she wore ones like it several times

In Gee Chun

In Gee Chun in black

In Gee Chun at the HSBC in Singapore

Miss Bo Mee Lee

Bo Mee Lee

Ji Hee Kim sports a desert look

Ji Hee Kim

MJ Hur and Minjee Lee both liked this (subtly different) look!

MJ Hur

Minjee Lee

Is the hat part of the outfit or just a fun accessory for the pro-am?

Yoon Kyung Heo

Yoon Kyung Heo

Char Young Kim sports a bit of lace

Char Young Kim

Char Young Kim with a Juicy Fruit top

Da Na Kang’s unique look often includes a skort with an interesting cut: the front is noticeably shorter than the sides and back.

Da Na Kang

Da Na Kang has some especially groovy pants here!

AWARD for Shot of the Year

And the winner is: Sei Young holes out to win playoff, Lotte Championship

This year, there was quite a wealth of great shots to choose from for this award, but even so, one shot stands out as not only the best of the year, but one that will go down as among the best of all time.

Sei Young Kim should not have won the Lotte Championship. She struggled to make par on the 17th hole, then hit her drive on 18 into the water. She missed the green on her third shot, and needed a chip-in to force a playoff. Yet, somehow, she made it into that playoff, and found herself going head to head with the best player in the league, Inbee Park.

Sei Young Kim celebrates her chip-in to force a playoff

So what does she do? Aims straight for the flag in the first playoff hole. Her 150+ yard approach bounced in the fringe, bounced a second time on the green, then landed in the hole for eagle. The crowd went absolutely CRAZY. Kim herself wasn’t sure what had happened, but when she discovered she had jarred it, she had to laugh. A few moments later, the trophy was hers. INSANE! One of the most amazing finishes to a tournament of all time.

Sei Young and her Lotte trophy

Other nominees:        

Sei Young up and down from patch of vines near green, Pure Silk Bahamas, rd 4

Sei Young Kim had another amazing shot en route to her first win on tour. She missed the green with an approach and wound up in a thick, gnarly bunch of grass that looked like a briar patch. The ball was all but invisible. Yet somehow, she punched out of there, got close to the hole, and saved par. It’s amazing she was even able to hit the ball, let alone get it close enough for a par.

In Gee Chun, 17th hole tee shot, round 4, US Women’s Open

In Gee Chun hit many fabulous shots during round 4 of the US Women’s Open, but this one was the best. Having just climbed into a two shot lead, she could have played conservatively. Instead, she hit her tee shot on the par 3 17th hole right at the flag, somehow landing left of a pin position that sat just a few yards from the left side of the green. It was incredibly gutsy, and the birdie gave her a three shot advantage.

Amy Yang drives 16th green, round 4, US Women’s Open

In Gee Chun was racing away from Yang, who had led the tournament most of the past two days. Amy stepped up to the challenge. On the drivable par 4 16th, she laced her tee shot to about fifteen feet, then drained the eagle to close the gap to a shot.

Na Yeon Choi holeout eagle, 16th hole, 4th round, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

If Sei Young Kim hadn’t won this award, this shot would have. Right after Stacy Lewis made a great tee shot a hole ahead of Choi to the delight of the partisan crowd, Choi jarred this eagle to move into the lead. Then Na Yeon nearly made ace on the next hole, tapping in to cement the win! All day it had looked like Lewis would at last get her first win of the season, and in front of the crowd from where she went to college, but Choi’s fantastic two shots put an end to that one!

Na Yeon Choi with her second trophy of 2015

Inbee Park, bunker shot, hole 10, day 4, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Sei Young Kim had been challenging Park all day, but had just messed up on the 9th hole to allow Park to get a lead. But then Inbee hit her approach on hole 10 into a bunker about 50 yards from the green. Long bunker shots like that are among the hardest in golf, and it looked like she might cough up her advantage. So she stepped up and hit a masterpiece shot that landed three feet from the hole and stopped dead. Birdie, and she would go on to play bogey-free golf on the day and win her third straight time at this event.

Inbee Park, approach on 16, round 4, Women’s British Open

Jin Young Ko had been leading the tournament for several days. Inbee made an eagle to close the gap. Then, on one of the hardest holes on the course, the 16th, Inbee hit a superlative approach to a few feet for an easy birdie. A few minutes later, Ko hit her approach on the same hole into the water. Game over.

Inbee Park completed the career Grand Slam with this win

AWARD for Best Stretch of Holes

And the Winner is: Inbee Park, 94 straight bogey-free holes

Inbee Park was unstoppable in Singapore

Inbee Park has managed many impressive feats during her career, especially during the past three seasons. Certainly one of her more amazing runs came earlier this year, where she went 94 straight holes on the LPGA tour without a single bogey.

She started her streak at the Honda LPGA Thailand event, playing her last 20 holes bogey-free, continued it through all 72 holes at the HSBC, before it came to an end early in her next start.

Inbee had extra-motivation to play mistake-free golf at the HSBC: she had made a bet early in the week with her father that she would pay him $1000 for each bogey made, and he would pay her $500 for each birdie. She pocketed a cool $7500 from him without having to give him a cent!

Amazingly, Inbee had another great bogey-free run later in the season, playing her final three rounds at the year’s second Major, the KPMG Ladies PGA Championship, without a single blemish.

AWARD for Round of the Year

And the Winner Is: Amy Yang, KEB Hana Bank final round, 9 straight birdies to finish

Amy Yang made history in Korea

With all the success the Korean women had this year in golf, there naturally were many great rounds played. But one round stood out as historic in a unique way.

Amy Yang, who had won the lone LPGA event in Korea two years earlier, was well back entering the final round at this year’s edition. She had a decent opening nine, going one under by the turn.

But starting on hole 10 all the way until the end of her round, she made birdie on every single hole. Nine birdies in a row, a birdie on every hole on the back nine. In the entire history of the LPGA, that had never been done before.

Only one player had ever made nine birdies in a row before, Beth Daniel; but hers did not all come one one side of a golf course. Amy also set the lowest score for 9 holes in LPGA history, a 27.

Amy later remarked, “I made a couple of birdies to start the day but after a bogey [on the sixth hole], I figured this would be just another ordinary day. Then I started hitting the ball much better on the back nine and making every putt. I don’t think there was any one particular turning point. I just kept on hitting the ball and making putts. This is absolutely incredible.”

Amy’s 62 was still not enough to get the win, but it did elevate her into the top five.

Other Nominees:

In Gee Chun, final round, US Women’s Open

In Gee Chun on the final day at the US Women’s Open

In Gee Chun started the fourth round of the US Women’s Open in the penultimate group, several strokes behind Amy Yang. But brilliant play on the front nine enabled her to move closer to Yang. Yang fought back to re-establish a three shot lead over the field, and seemed ready to at last win her first Major.

But on the back nine, Chun turned on the jets, making birdie on 4 of her final 7 holes. After a great tee shot on the par 3 12th, she drained the birdie to move to within a shot of Yang, who was starting to struggle. Chun took the lead by making a birdie on the difficult 15th hole. A few moments later, Yang made bogey on the same hole to drop two back. Chun then drove the green on the par 4 16th, winding up in a greenside bunker. She made a clutch up-and down for another birdie, then increased her lead to three by striping an iron to within four feet on the par 3 17th for yet another birdie.

Yang fought back, making eagle on 16 and birdie on 17 to move to within one. Chun had trouble on the final hole, just missing a par save to fall into a tie for the lead. But Yang also made bogey there. And so, in her first ever US Women’s Open, In Gee Chun shot a 4 under par 66 on Sunday to claim the win. It was one of the most unforgettable rounds of golf in Korean golf history.

Inbee Park, final round, Lorena Ochoa Invitational

Inbee Park had the lead going into the final round, but playing partner Carlotta Ciganda was absolutely on fire, catching Park in just a few holes. Park remained cool under pressure, eventually shooting a 64 to hold off the Spaniard for her fifth win of the season.

Inbee Park, final round, Women’s British Open

Inbee’s final round at the year’s fourth Major was another of her all-time classic performances. In this one, KLPGA star Jin Young Ko started with the lead, made an eagle early on the back nine, and seemed in complete control. But Park made her own eagle on the 14th to move to within a shot, then hit a jaw dropping approach on the difficult 16th to set up a birdie and move into the lead. When Ko made a double on the same hole shortly thereafter, Inbee locked up her 7th career Major.

Inbee Park, final round, North Texas Shootout

With Inbee Park, you get used to utter brilliance in the final round of a tournament. She did it again at the North Texas Shootout. She shot a bogey-free 65 and won despite making a few mistakes that would have allowed her round to be even lower, including a 360 degree lipout on one hole.

Lydia Ko, Final round, Evian Championship

Lydia Ko seems to win everything, all the time, and without seemingly much fuss or bother. But the one thing that had eluded her was a Major title. So, when she found herself in the hunt against Lexi Thompson at the year’s final Major, she would have been forgiven if she had struggled with nerves or made crucial mistakes as she tried to end her (by her standards) long Major drought.

Nope. She shot a 63, and absolutely crushed the field on the back nine, winning by six shots. And so, she became the youngest woman in history to win a Major, in her final chance to claim that record before she got too old.

Inbee Park, final round, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Inbee again. Another final round in a Major, another brilliant, near flawless display. No bogies, 5-under par 69, 5 shot victory. It made her one of the few women in LPGA history to win the same Major three straight years, and she did it on three different courses to boot. It also got her back to the #1 ranking in women’s golf.

Yoon Ji Cho, 8 straight birdies to start final round, E1 Charity Open

Yoon Ji Cho points to the incredible run of birdies she produced at the E1 Charity Open

Yoon Ji Cho almost matched Amy Yang’s performance, but on the KLPGA. At the E1 Charity Open, she started her round with eight straight birdies, an all-time KLPGA record. Like Yang, it was not good enough to get her the win (she finished tied for third). But it did get her a special signature ball, released by her ball sponsor Srixon to commemorate her achievement.

Sung Hyun Park, round 1, KEB Hana Bank Championship

Entering the KEB Hana Bank Championship, this KLPGA star had been on a big hot streak. So many people thought she might be able to make a run at the title. She did more than that. In the first round, she shot a 10 under par 62 to tie the tournament record and give herself the lead by four shots. She played with Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson in the first round, and frequently outdrove them both.

In the end, she would finish second to Thompson.

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Responses

  1. I really enjoy the photos and stories that you’ve shared with everyone. A couple years ago, you introduced me to the KLPGA players. It’s great to get your insight and so exciting to see how many have progressed. I have one concern though… about Heo Yoon Kyung. Saw her with sport support tape on her knee last season and after a couple of WDs, I didn’t see her anymore! Hoping you might have access to some good news and also looking forward to your next installment (4 of 6). Thanks!

  2. You guys need to put up a bio for Sung-Hyun Park!! Please!! She’s sooo good and fun to watch!


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