“I thought I was unlucky to be in the lead and have such bad weather on the last day, but I ended up being the luckiest player.”
A strong rainstorm at Jeju Elysian CC (par 72) gave Sung Yoo-jin a lucky victory after she crashed out. Kim Jae-hee, who was bidding for her first career victory, and Lee Seung-yeon and Lee Ye-won, who were looking for an upset, had to swallow their disappointment.
Sung Yoo-jin Seong won the Korean Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour’s Etx Oil Championship ($900,000) after the final round was canceled due to inclement weather. Sung, who entered the final round on Friday with a 13-under-par 206 through three rounds and a one-stroke lead over runners-up Kim Jae-hee and Lee Ye-won (both 11-under 205), had the worst of the bad weather, losing five shots in nine holes to fall seven strokes off the lead, but was fortunate to win the tournament when play was canceled and reduced to a 54-hole (three-round) event.
Coming off a tie for fourth place at the Q-School Stage 2 on the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour last month, Sung will knock on the door of the U.S. stage with confidence as she takes home the title and $162 million in prize money ahead of the final stop on the Q-Series later this month.
“Yesterday’s shot-eagle on the 13th hole, which came when I was struggling with back-to-back bogeys, and the three birdies I added afterward taught me that you have to give your best until the end,” said Sung, who picked up his second win of the season and third career victory after making his 2019 debut at last year’s Lotte Open (June) and this year’s Doosan Match Play Championship (May). “It was a tough day, but I was lucky enough to say that the heavens gave me a gift.” “Coming back from the U.S. and pushing through the tournament took its toll, and I woke up this morning with a nosebleed that I had to have stitched up,” he said. “After the second stoppage, when my teammates were saying, ‘Isn’t this going to cancel the round,’ I was holding my tongue,” he added, reflecting on a long and difficult time.
Kim Jae-hee, who was looking for her first win in three years on the regular tour, cried after the decision to cancel her fourth round. After birdies on the third and fourth holes to move into a share of the lead, Kim added birdies on the sixth and seventh to reach 14-under-par at the halfway mark, one stroke ahead of Lee (13-under) when play resumed after a 30-minute suspension due to water pooling on the greens due to heavy rain.
Yewon Lee clinched the Grand Prize and the top prize money in the tournament. After second-place finisher Park Ji-young missed the cut after 토토 the second round, Lee was the runner-up on the day and won the grand prize by 93 points over second-place finisher Im Jin-hee.
Im shaved three strokes off her score to move into fourth place before play was suspended, but her third-round finish (tied for 11th) means she will not be able to overtake Lee even if she wins her next event.
Hong Jeong-min, who is making her LPGA Tour Q-Series debut alongside Sung Yoo-jin, finished tied for fourth (10-under par 206) with Lim and Lee.