Ko, Park finish tied for 2nd at ShopRite Classic
Ko Jin-young and Park In-bee narrowly missed out on a trophy at the 2021 ShopRite LPGA Classic at Seaview in Galloway, New Jersey on Sunday, both tying for second position with 13-under-par, one stroke short of Celine Boutier of France.
Both world No. 2 Ko and No. 3 Park carded a 5-under-par, 66, on the first day and added a six-under-par, 65, in the second round. They headed to the third and last round in the same group alongside Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand.
After the first nine holes on the last day, Ko topped the leaderboard with Park one stroke behind in second. But Park’s bogey on the par-4 12th and Ko’s bogey on the par-3 15th saw them slip behind Celine Boutier of France.
Boutier made an incredible comeback on the last day, birdying eight holes including the last par-5 18th to post a career low 63, while Park and Ko parred the last hole. Ko reached the green in two shots, but missed her eagle putt. With a reasonable distance left to birdie, it seemed that Ko and Boutier would go into a playoff, but as Ko’s birdie putt missed the hole, so did her chance at a third win of the season.
Despite missing out on a trophy, the tied second finish may be a sign that Korean golf is slowly getting back on track.
Ko and Park finished with a 13-under-par, 200, alongside Brooke Henderson of Canada. Kim Sei-young tied for 14th alongside countrywoman Ryu So-yeon, who pulled sank a chip shot from the bunker into the hole on the last hole to card an eagle to round off her tournament. Ji Eun-hee finished tied for 19th and Park Sung-hyun tied for 27th.
So far, Korean golfers have won four LPGA titles this season, just two short of a total 200 wins since Ku Ok-hee won the Standard Register Turquoise Classic on March 27, 1988.
Korean golfers need to pick up their pace as there isn’t much time left to complete that mission. Five tournaments remain until the end of the season, including the Cognizant Founders Cup starting Thursday.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]