Chun wins 3rd LPGA title, Korea fans elated

SEOUL • Chun In-gee delighted the home crowd by winning the KEB Hana Bank Championship yesterday after firing a six-under 66 in the final round to record her third LPGA Tour victory.

The 24-year-old South Korean, whose two previous wins on the LPGA Tour had been Majors, finished with a 16-under 272 total, three strokes ahead of England's Charley Hull (71) at the SKY72 Golf & Resort in Incheon.

Compatriot Park Sung-hyun (69), Australian Lee Min-jee (70), Thai Ariya Jutanugarn (71) and American Danielle Kang (72) were a stroke further back tied for third.

With nine wins on the Korean women's tour before making the switch to the United States for the 2016 season, Chun's popularity remains undimmed at home and yesterday's galleries were again swelled by her huge army of followers.

Organisers said almost 32,000 fans came out for the final round, with the total number for the four days at over 68,000.

The world No. 27 carded seven birdies against a solitary bogey to move past overnight leader Hull, claiming her first win since the 2016 Evian Championship and the victory seemed to take a weight off her shoulders.

"I'm so happy to win in front of these fans," a tearful Chun told Korean TV, adding that she hoped it would mark a "turning point" after two winless seasons.

World No. 1 Park was disappointed not to have posed a bigger challenge on the final day.

"As I mentioned earlier, this was a course I was confident with and, in the past, had scored very well here and I really wanted to win. But, today, I wasn't able to bring my A game," she said.

"The world ranking, it always changes so that wasn't really a big factor.

"But once you win an event, that lasts forever, so winning was more important for me."

The LPGA Tour continues its end-of-season Asian swing next week in China with the inaugural Buick LPGA Shanghai.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2018, with the headline 'Chun wins 3rd LPGA title, Korea fans elated'. Print Edition | Subscribe