Jeong Yun-ji last woman standing after 5 playoff holes at 10th E1 Charity Open
Jeong Yun-ji won her first-ever title at the 10th E1 Charity Open at South Springs country club in Icheon, Gyeonggi, after playing five sudden-death playoff holes.
This is Jeong's first title since her debut on the KLPGA Tour in 2020.
The E1 Charity Open is a three-day, 54-hole event. Defending champion Ji Han-sol topped the leaderboard on the first day, carding a six-under-par, but on the second day, it was Ha Min-song who took the top position, birdying seven holes to take a one-stroke lead.
By the end of the final round, four players were tied at the top of the leaderboard. Jeong carded a four-under-par, Lee So-young carded a three-under-par, Ji carded a three-under-par and Ha carded a one-under-par on the third day, all reaching a total score of eight-under-par.
Ha was the only golfer of the four to play in the champion group. Jeong, Lee and Ji had already carded an eight-under-par, waiting for the last group to finish. If Ha would have birdied in the last hole, she could have won the event.
But as the last group of golfers reached the 18th green, just as Ha was starting to set up for her putt on the last hole, the sprinklers suddenly turned on, an apparent malfunction, spraying water on the green and players.
After a few minutes the sprinklers were turned off and the play restarted, but Ha missed her birdie putt, pushing the match into a four-women sudden-death playoff.
It was the first sudden-death playoff of the season, with two of the four having already had experience winning the event. Ji won the event wire-to-wire last year while Lee won the event in 2020.
The four golfers returned to the 18th hole to tee off for the first playoff hole. Ha had the longest driver shot and Ji the shortest.
Ji had 105 meters (344 feet) left, dropping the ball on the left of the green. Lee played her second shot next, from 95 meters, landing the ball on the right of the green, closer to the hole than Ji. Jeong played next, landing the ball still closer to the hole than Ji and Lee. Ha had the longest driver shot and the shortest second shot. Ha landed the ball on the right side of the green, closer to the hole than Ji but farther than the other two players.
Despite being the farthest away, Ji sunk in her birdie putt. Ha was the next to putt but missed her chance at a birdie, dropping out of the playoff with a par. Lee and Jeong sunk in their birdie putts to reach the three-women sudden-death playoff.
Jeong and the two past champions Ji and Lee took to the 18th hole once again for the second sudden-death playoff.
Ji's tee shot landed in the bunker, but her iron shot was impeccable, landing on the right side of the green closest to the hole while Lee and Jeong also landed their iron shots at a similar distance from the hole.
Unlike the first playoff, all three golfers missed their birdie putts, pushing the match into a third playoff hole, and the three players took to the 18th hole for the fourth time on Sunday.
Lee's second shot landed to the back of the pole, Ji's shot failed to reach the green and Jeong's ball landed to the back of the pole but closest to the hole. Lee parred the hole and dropped out of the playoff while Jeong and Ji birdied the hole and headed to the fifth sudden-death playoff hole.
The fifth playoff hole was moved to a different location, and that seemed to have made the difference. Ji missed her birdie putt while Jeong sunk her birdie putt to clinch her first-ever title.
The KLPGA Tour will continue with the Lotte Open on Thursday.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]