Koreans continue to prevail in LPGA tour
At the Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course, Yang - whose Korean name is Hee-young - shot 3-under 69 in the final round to finish the fourth LPGA event of the season with a total score of 15-under 273. She was two stokes ahead of fellow Korean Lee Mi-rim, Tseng Yani of Taiwan and American Stacy Lewis.
Rookie Kim Sei-young, who won the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic last month, shared fourth with Spain’s Beatriz Recari with 12-under 276. No. 2 ranked golfer Park In-bee was tied for seventh with Sandra Gal of Germany and Suzann Pettersen of Norway.
This is Yang’s second LPGA victory since October 2013, when she claimed the KEB-Hana Bank Championship. The 25-year-old has been runner-up six times since her LPGA debut in 2008.
She had a chance to squash that record last week in the Women’s Australian Open, but fell two strokes behind to finish second behind Korean-born New Zealander Lydia Ko.
BY JOO KYUNG-DON [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Yang, who is ranked at 16th in the world, began the final round of the event with a stroke behind 11-time LPGA Tour winner Lewis, who had 13-under 203 through the third round.
But Yang cruised through the first nine holes by catching three birdies without a bogey, while Lewis, who was last year’s LPGA Player of the Year, went sluggish, only collecting two birdies while making a bogey.
Yang struggled a little in the last nine holes, making bogeys at the 14th hole and 16th holes, but as Lewis made a double bogey at the 15th, she was able to maintain the lead.
By the time she reached the last hole, Yang had a one stroke cushion against Lewis and sealed her victory calmly with a par event though her second shot fell into the bunker.
Yang’s victory extends the Korean golfers’ dominance in the LPGA as they claim three out of four events. Choi Na-yeon won the season opener Coates Golf Championship, while LPGA rookie Kim Sei-young triumphed at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic last month.
Including Lydia Ko, this season’s LPGA has so far entirely been claimed by golfers of Korean descent.