And the Winner Is: So Yeon Ryu
For the most part, there is one golfer whom I could give this award to every year, and that is Soo Jin Yang. Not surprisingly, she has continued to push the envelope in 2016. But for a change, I decided to give the award to another deserving recipient: So Yeon Ryu. So Yeon always manages to look eminently professional, clean and crisp. This year, she came into her own with some especially nice looks. Here are a few of the better ones.
One of Ryu’s best looks of the year came in round 1 of the Evian. The media even realized how nice this outfit looked, as they took several close up studies of the socks and skort, commenting on So Yeon’s style. Here is the same outfit in two shots.
Ryu was on fire at the Evian. Here’s another nice one. Even the sock stripes match!
Some more great outfits:
We have to show some Soo Jin Yang. Here are some cool outfits from this season:
Soo Jin does bad weather well:
I love how the visor is patterned like the shirt.
No one pushes the envelope of what constitutes a golf hat like Soo Jin. Check this one out!
The KLPGA rookies had some cool outfits, too. Here is star rookie So Young Lee:
And another rookie, Won Ju Jang, really stood out in these ensembles:
Rookie Hyo Rin Lee
Rookie of the Year on the KLPGA, Jeong Eun Lee 6
Chae Young Yoon made black beautiful!
Ji Hyun Oh won an event this year and turned heads with some nice outfits, too
She liked this diamond ring top and wore it often. Here, she pairs it with pink rain pants:
KLPGA Player of the Year Jin Young Ko looks really groovy in this throwback to the Swinging Sixties.
Welcome back from injury, Yoon Kyung Heo! Her rain coat looks a little like a dress.
Speaking of turning heads, Hyeonjoo Ryu was a new photographers’ favorite in 2016.
The LPGA’s Hee Young Park showed that the KLPGA did not monopolize style:
Minjee Lee is another gal who really knows how to put a crisp look together.
Lastly, a couple of nice outfits from this season’s LPGA Rookie of the Year, In Gee Chun:
Shot of the Year
And the Winner Is: Ha Na Jang makes an albatross on a par 4.
In the sixty+ year history of the LPGA, no one had ever made an ace on a par 4 hole – until 2016, when, amazingly, two players did it. And they were both Sisters! But since Ha Na Jang’s came first, she gets the award.
Jang’s hole out came on a 212 yard par four in the Bahamas at the Pure Silk Bahamas, the year’s first event. After holing out the unbelievable shot, Jang, in typical style, bowed down and saluted the hole before taking the ball out of the cup. It was a sign of things to come: at the next event, Jang got the first LPGA win of her career.
Other Nominees: Minjee Lee makes another albatross on a par 4
Just a month after Ha Na Jang did it, Minjee Lee made her own hole-in-one on a par 4. Hers came at the Kia Classic in late March, in the third round, on a par 4 275 yard hole. It was not only history for the LPGA, it was the first time Lee had ever made an ace in her life!
In Gee Holes Out, Lotte Championship
In Gee Chun had a few amazing shots this year. She had a great chip-in for eagle during the third round of the Evian Championship that was key to setting herself up for that win. Her final putt to win the Vare trophy was also uber-clutch.
But my own personal favorite shot of hers came at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii. During round 2, In Gee holed out on the 11th hole. What makes the shot so great is her sheer happiness after doing it. Check out the video!
Sei Young Kim, approach shot from rough, playoff hole, Meijer Classic
Sei Young Kim made a bogey on the final hole of this tournament to drop into a playoff with Carlotta Ciganda. But Kim had never lost a playoff as a pro, and she kept her perfect record intact here. She hit her drive into thick rough, and it looked like she might have blown her chance for the win. But her approach shot was absolutely brilliant, popping out of the thick stuff, rolling up to the green and stopping about two feet from the hole for an easy birdie and the win.
Su Yeon Jang, Hole 16, second shot, Singles, Kowa Queens
The par 3 16th hole at the team event called the Kowa Queens is pretty interesting. If a player hits the ball straight she has a great birdie chance. But, if she goes left, she is in BIG trouble: the hill slopes severely down, with a lot of trees and other junk in the way. It’s almost certain doom to be down there.
Su Yeon Jang reached the 16th hole of her singles match against Japanese star Ritsuko Ryu all square. She hit her tee shot into the left mass of trees, while Ryu put hers about six feet from the hole. Easy win for Ryu, right?
Not so fast! Jang took out a wood and hit a worm burner that scampered along the ground, under the trees and up the hill, stopping about two feet from the hole. The miraculous shot so shook Ryu that she missed her birdie, and Jang squared the hole. Jang would go on to win the match on the 18th hole when Ryu hit her approach into the water.
Most Dramatic Hole
And the Winner Is: 18th hole ANA Inspiration
The final hole of the ANA Inspiration, a par 5 with a water carry, is often the scene of dramatics, and this year was no exception. As mentioned earlier in Great Performance that Came Up Short, Ariya Jutanugarn reached this hole with the lead and her first Major seemingly in hand. But she dumped her tee shot into the water and that was that. Minutes later, In Gee Chun, now with a chance to win, hit her second shot behind a footbridge. Lydia Ko, with a one shot lead, laid up and hit her third to a foot. In Gee hit a great chip, but it didn’t go in, and Ko tapped in for the Major win.
Round of the Year
And the Winner Is: In Gee Chun and Sung Hyun Park, 63, round 1, Evian
In Gee signs autographs during round one of the Evian Championship
In Gee and Sung Hyun set up their epic battle at the Evian by shooting identical 63s in the first round, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. They wound up the week first and tied for second, so that first round was crucial for their final results.
Other Nominees: Mirim Lee, 62, round 1, US Women’s Open
Mirim Lee had a great year in the Majors in 2016. She seriously contended at the KPMG and the British Women’s Open, notching top tens both times. But perhaps her most impressive moment came in the first round of the US Women’s Open at Cordevalle, where she shot an 8-under-par 64. That round included 10 birdies, the most ever achieved in a single round at the US Women’s Open! Not too shabby!
Minjee Lee, final round 64, Lotte Championship
Minjee Lee’s 64 in the final round of the Lotte Championship allowed her to overtake In Gee Chun for her second career win.
In Gee Chun, 62, Round 3, Kingsmill
In Gee’s third round vaulted her from 52nd into a tie for 2nd and a spot in the final group on Sunday. She struggled that day, but still notched a top ten.