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BASEBALL

Most of Korea’s players in the Majors get the day off

All of Korea’s Major Leaguers other than Park Byung-ho of the Minnesota Twins got the day off on Monday.

Park batted fifth as the designated hitter for the Twins against Toronto Blue Jays on Monday and had no hits during his four at-bats, extending his streak of hitless games to five. Park’s batting average for the season subsequently fell to .220 from .228 as of Monday.

During his first at bat at the bottom of second, Park lined out to left field. He couldn’t make solid contact with the ball throughout the game, ending the day at the bottom of ninth with a strike out on a foul tip. The Twins lost to the Blue Jays 1-3.

Other Korean big leaguers found themselves on the bench. Pittsburgh Pirates Kang Jung-ho remained in the dugout during the Pirates’ game against Colorado Rockies, which was rained out in the middle of the first inning. Park had complained about pain in his left arm the day before.

Choo Shin-soo of the Texas Rangers also stayed out of the field. After returning to the big league on May 21, Choo reported slight pain on his left hamstring while rounding the bases. Lee Dae-ho of the Seattle Mariners and Kim Hyun-soo of the Baltimore Orioles also couldn’t find any playing time for their teams on Monday. Saint Louis Cardinals setup man Oh Seung-hwan, who’s on an eight-game shutout spree, also took a day off.

By Choi Hyung-jo



GOLF

Thailand’s first LPGA Tour winner gets second victory

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - Ariya Jutanugarn shot a nearly mistake-free 4-under 67 and won the Kingsmill Championship by one shot on Sunday, her second consecutive victory on the LPGA Tour.

The 20-year-old, who became the first Thai winner in tour history two weeks ago in Alabama, gave up her lead briefly after an early bogey, but she played the final 16 holes in 5 under to keep at bay all the challengers needing her to falter. She finished with a 14-under 270 for four trips over Kingsmill’s 6,347-yard River Course.

So Oh finished second after a closing 65, with Gerina Piller and Kim Sei-young sharing third, two shots back.

Jutanugarn, the third-round leader, immediately rebounded from a bogey on the par-3 second hole with back-to-back birdies. She made three more the rest of the way, then got up-and-down from the right side of the green on the 18th hole, hitting her chip to within about 5 feet and rolling it in for the victory.

“It was a lot easier,” she said of closing out her second victory. “I didn’t get nervous. I didn’t get excited until the last putt.”

She is the first player with back-to-back wins since top-ranked Lydia Ko did it in March.

Jutanugarn’s pivotal moment came at the par-5 15th. Hanging onto a one-shot lead, she hit her second shot well left, into tall greenside rough with the ball well below her feet. Wasting little time, she deftly chipped to within about 5 feet and made the birdie putt, doubling her lead as she reached 14 under par for the first time.

AP


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