The first half of the 2017 KLPGA season will be remembered for two things: Ji Hyun Kims unexpected dominance and now amateur Hye Jin Choi’s remarkable victory at the KLPGA Yongpyong Resort Open.
Choi’s final round course record 63 will go down in the KLPGA Tour history books as one of the most incredible performances ever produced, not just by an amateur, but any KLPGA player, past or present.
Two hole out eagles from the fairway, along with five birdies helped Choi overturn a five shot deficit over Ji Hyun Kim, who was looking for her third victory in four starts on the KLPGA Tour.
Many would have felt that this season would belong to Jin Young Ko, or the return of Ha Na Jang would see her become the dominant figure. Nobody would have predicted the outstanding form Ji Hyun Kim has produced over the past few months, including Kim herself.
After going winless for eight seasons on the KLPGA Tour, Kim is in the kind of form that the greatest ever players in the game would be envious of. In spite of today’s loss, she is currently in a league of her own on Tour, but today Hye Jin Choi let her know that she is not going to be intimidated by whoever she faces.
Heavy rain interuupted play on two occassions during the final round, with the greens and fairways not taking too long to be flooded. Luckily, the rain was only temporary and play was able to resume, shortly after it was halted.
As the skies opened up once again towards the end of the day, Choi sat in the clubhouse, waiting to see if Jeongmin Cho or Ji Hyun Kim could birdie the par 5 18th and force a playoff.
Cho’s birdie attempt slid by the hole, so it was left to Kim to see if she could force a playoff. Just like Cho, Kim’s birdie putt failed to drop.
History was made- Hye Jin Choi was the champion, in what was a fascinating final day from start to finish. She collected awards for course record, best amateur and of course overall winner, but no money, as she is an amateur!! That will come soon no doubt!
Choi is the future of Korean ladies golf and today was just further proof of this. She plans on turning professional next month, which will mean a whole new type of pressure to cope with, but she is ready for any challenge ahead it seems.
First up, I suppose I better say hello and thank you for visiting my website, whoever you are. I teach, I write, I caddy, I write, I travel, I write. Mostly, about golf if that interests you. Usually interviews for various publications and blog about my caddy adventures.