The KLPGA Lotte Rent a Car Open on Jeju Island produced a wire to wire maiden victory for Jeong Eun Lee 6. The ‘6’ refers to her being the sixth member on the KLPGA with the same name…well after this week, maybe Lee can have it changed to number 1!
The start of the full 2017 KLPGA season didn’t exactly go to plan, as the Lotte Rent a Car Open was reduced to 54 holes due to torrential rain on Thursday suspending the commencement of play. It’s that time of year here in Korea, where one day it can feel like the middle of winter and the next summertime. Thankfully, conditions were much better on Friday and a full days play was completed.
The first round lead was taken by Jeong Eun Lee (6), after opening up with a six under 66. A group of six, including Hyo Joo Kim were just one shot behind Lee, in a very tightly packed leaderboard. Thirty eight players were within four shots of the lead after round one, so it was all to play for over the weekend.
Lee, who finished 6th in this tournament last year, shot a second consecutive 66 on Saturday, to give herself a two shot lead heading into the final round. One would expect Lee to show signs of nerves, as she chased her first KLPGA title, that was not the case.
Five birdies on the front nine on Sunday gave the 21 year old a comfortable six shot lead, which never looked in any doubt of being threatened.
She eventually completed her Sunday stroll with a four shot victory over Seong Weon Park and the tears of joy began to flow during her post victory interview.
Pre tournament favourites Hyo Joo Kim and Hae Rym Kim finished tied fourth, while Ha Na Jang was one shot behind in tied seventh. Defending champion Su Yeon Jang struggled to a 74 on the final day to finish tied twenty second.
Next week, it’s off to 88cc for the Together Open. There will be a new champion this year, as Sung Hyun Park has moved onto the LPGA Tour.
Tournament photos credit: KLPGA website
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