Park Min-ji does it again with sixth KLPGA win of 2021
Park Min-ji won her sixth KLPGA title of the 2021 season at the inaugural Daebo hausD Open at Seowon Valley Country Club in Paju, Gyeonggi on Sunday.
Park has now won six of 11 tournaments she has competed in this year. There have only been 13 KLPGA events so far this season.
Park finished the first round on Friday tied at second after birdying five holes in the first nine and added two more in the second half.
Seo Yeun-jung, who had started out the second round on Saturday tied at ninth, birdied four out of the first nine and added three more in the second half, jumping up to the top of the leaderboard. Park also had a bogeyless round and stayed tied at second alongside Oh Ji-hyun.
As this tournament was a three-day, 54-hole event, Seo went into the final round on Sunday looking for her first-ever KLPGA win. She started out strong, birdying the par-3 second and par-5 third. Despite bogeying the par-4 fifth, she held on to first with 13-under-par.
Park and Oh trailed Seo by one stroke until Park birdied the par-4 sixth, pushing Oh out and grabbing a solo second place.
But on the par-4 seventh, Park's driver shot headed to the right, landing deep in the rough with trees surrounding it. She pulled out her iron to lay up, hitting the ball shorter to put it back on the fairway instead of shooting straight toward the hole.
Her second shot also bounced off the cart road and again into the rough left of the fairway. Her third shot landed on the green, but with 4.3 yards to the hole.
Park took a big breath and slotted in the ball, making a big par save.
"I won today because I parred the seventh," Park said. "That driver shot was my worst shot of the entire match. I decided to do a lay up but that iron shot wasn't good either so I thought to myself that I should just play a safe par."
The save put Park back on track. On the par-3 eighth, she putted from the fringe, 7 yards from the hole, birdying to tie first with Seo.
Park started her come back, birdying the par-4 12th to take the top of the leaderboard. Seo fought back, birdying the par-4 15th to tie the lead again.
Park birdied while Seo parred the par-5 16th and just as it seemed Park would get away with the one-shot lead, she bogeyed the par-3 17th as her second putt curved to the left, missing the hole. With one hole left to play, Seo and Park were back at a tie.
"That was my only bogey of the entire match," Park said. "After I bogeyed, I thought that it actually made the last hole more fun to play."
And it was that confidence that led to a birdie on the final par-4 18th and Park's sixth victory of the season. Park finished the tournament with 16-under, 200, while Seo finished second with 14-under, 202.
Park has been dominating the KLPGA Tour this season, winning more than half of the tournaments she has competed in.
Park is now looking to break Shin Ji-yai's season record of nine wins in a single season.
The KLPGA Tour continues with the Evercollagen Queens Crown 2021 at Lakewood Country Club in Yangju, Gyeonggi, from July 15 to 18.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]