Posted by: happyfan08 | January 3, 2018

2017 SeoulSisters Awards (3 of 7): Clutch Performance, Biggest Disappointment, Dominating, Fashionable

Clutch Performance of the Year

And the Winner Is: So Yeon Ryu at the ANA Inspiration

Without question, the player who had to overcome the most to get a big win this year was So Yeon Ryu at the year’s first Major, the ANA Inspiration.

Ryu had been playing brilliantly all season (see ‘Best Start to the Season’), but had not yet been able to win despite coming close. As the fourth round wound on, it looked like it might be another near miss for her. But then, suddenly, Lexi Thompson was assessed a four-stroke penalty thanks to a viewer calling in, and Ryu was right back in the thick of things with just a few holes to go.

The fans at that point turned vocally towards supporting Thompson, and though there were several Major winners still in the hunt, none of them were able to play quite well enough to take Thompson down.

Except for So Yeon. She managed to reach the green in two on 18, but her ball nestled into an extremely challenging lie near the grandstand.  She would have to get up and down from there to have any realistic chance of victory. And she did it, while her playing partner, 7-time Major winner Inbee Park, was not able to make birdie.

A few minutes later, Ryu was in a playoff with Thompson for the title. Again, the crowd was very vocally cheering for Thompson and against Ryu. But So Yeon never wavered: while Thompson hit a poor drive, Ryu put hers in the middle of the fairway, then hit a gutsy second shot to the water-flanked green. Her ball rolled nearly into the water, but stopped in time, and from there, So Yeon pulled off another clutch up-and-down to win her second career Major.

Biggest Disappointment

And the Winner Is: Ha Na Jang returns to Korea

Ha Na Jang quickly established herself as one of the most popular players on the LPGA. And one of the best. She came over to the tour in 2015, hoping to qualify for the Olympics. She was not able to win in her rookie year, although she did have several close calls. But in 2016, she collected three titles, each time sealing the deal with a memorable and fun victory celebration.

Jang continued the brilliance in 2017, winning early at the Australian Women’s Open. But just a few months later, she suddenly renounced her tour membership and returned to South Korea to play on the KLPGA. What happened?

There was nothing sinister about it. She simply missed her family and friends, and wanted to be closer to them. She has played a few times in Majors and other important events since then, and will probably continue to do so in the future. But for now, she seems content to play full-time on the KLPGA. She has to do what is best for her, but it’s unfortunate that the LPGA has lost another big Korean star (interestingly, Jiyai Shin also suddenly left the tour a few years ago after winning in Australia, and for the same reason).

Other nominees: Inbee Park still injured

When Inbee Park collected a win at the 2017 HSBC Women’s Champions event, even she was surprised she had managed to win so soon after her return to action. She had barely played at all since winning the gold medal the previous August in Rio, and before that she had been out of action for a lot of 2016. But though she managed a few more good finishes here and there after that, she soon began to struggle with injuries again, and by the middle of the season, she was back on the bench for much of the rest of the year.

Here’s hoping she will return again in 2018, this time fully healthy!

In Gee Chun doesn’t win

It was a great year for In Gee, but as I mentioned before, she was not able to get a win despite numerous close calls. Even at the year ending LPGA vs. KLPGA team event, despite winning her two matches, In Gee was not able to get a trophy: the KLPGA upset the LPGA for the first time. She seems healthy, though, so maybe next year will be a chance for her to return to the winner’s circle!

Most Dominating Performance

And the Winner Is: Seung Hyun Lee, Hite Cup

The Hite Cup is one of the five Majors on the KLPGA tour. Seung Hyun Lee is a top player on the KLPGA, but she was not having a particularly great year when this event arrived in the Fall.

Amazing how one week can change everything! The field contained Sung Hyun Park, the leading money winner on the LPGA, and Ha Neul Kim, who was leading the JLPGA money list at the time. But after three rounds, it was Lee who had a three shot lead over the field.

Still, nothing prepared the fans for the massacre about to occur. A three-shot lead is nice, but certainly no guarantee of victory. But Lee was not about to stumble. Her fourth round 67 was the top score of the day, and when the tournament concluded, she held a staggering nine shot victory margin over two of the top players on the KLPGA, Hye Jin Choi and Jeong Eun Lee 6. It was the largest margin of victory on the KLPGA in a very long time.

Other Nominees:

Mirim Lee, Kia Classic

Mirim won the Kia Classic for her third career LPGA triumph. It was a six-shot margin, one of the biggest by a Sister on the LPGA in 2017. Lee can be inconsistent, but when she is on her game she is dynamite. Second place was So Yeon Ryu, but even the future world #1 could do nothing to slow Lee down on this day.

Sung Hyun Park annihilates rookies

We knew Sung Hyun Park was going to be good, but she absolutely dominated a decent rookie class in 2017. We’ll be talking about her a lot more later!

Eun Hee Ji wins by 6 at Swinging Skirts, her first win in eight years

It was pretty surprising to see Eun Hee Ji even in contention at the Swinging Skirts in Taiwan, but the way she absolutely dominated was completely stunning. She beat a charging Lydia Ko by six shots, and topped third place So Yeon Ryu (there she is again!) by ten. Not bad for her first win in EIGHT YEARS.

Most Fashionable

This year, Soo Jin Yang, the perennial fashionista of Korean Women’s Golf, has been largely absent from action. She got married earlier in the year, then got pregnant, and so missed most of the season. As a result, things were a little more sedate on the fashion front than in years past. But here are a few of the nice looks that were spotted on the fairways in 2017.

Char Young Kim

In Gee Chun

KLPGA Rookie Da Bin Heo sports Charlie Brown stripes. Good grief!

KLPGA Rookie of the Year Eun Soo Jang

Ga Yeon Kim is a Screen Golfer who played an event or two on the KLPGA this year. The below was a look straight from Pearly Gates, the same company that sponsors Soo Jin Yang.

Gyeol Park

Hye Sun Kim broke through with her first career win this season

Hyun Ju Yoo was a photographer’s favorite all season. Alas, she did not play well enough in 2017 to maintain her tour card.

KLPGA golfer Ju Yeon In wore this unusual jacket at one tournament

Jin Young Ko in green

Ji Hyun Oh had a great year on the KLPGA. Here she models outfits and some interesting head covers as well

So Yeon Ryu got to #1 in the world this year

Another KLPGA rookie, So Hye Park

Yet another rookie, So Hyun Ahn

Yul Lin Hwang

Advertisements

Responses

  1. I was so happy to see that Hyunju Yoo was included in best dressed along with my favorites So Yeon Ryu and In Gee Chun. Hyunju Yoo has quickly become one of my favorites. Now to get her golf game improved. She looks to have all of the right moves and she smiles which means she is having fun out there on the golf course. All I have to say is keep up the good work Hyunju Yoo.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: