Lim Hee-jeong wins her first title of season at DB Group Korea Women's Open Golf Championship
Lim Hee-jeong won the national title and her first title of the season at the DB Group Korea Women's Open Golf Championship, the second major event of the season, at Rainbowhills in Eumseong, North Chungcheong.
Lim carded a 19-under-par, six strokes ahead of runner up Kwon Seo-yeon and seven strokes ahead of defending champion Park Min-ji who was looking to defend her title for the second week in a row. Lim's score is the lowest-ever winning score of the Korea Women's Open. The previous lowest score is 17-under-par, 271, a record tied by 2018 champion Oh Ji-hyun and 2021 champion Park.
Park last week became the first golfer to defend her title this season, clinching a wire-to-wire victory at the Celltrion Queens Masters held at Seolhaeone country club in Yangyang, Gangwon.
Park was the one to take the lead on the first day, carding a six-under-par, 66, in the first round while Lim was tied for 13th place two strokes behind carding a four-under-par, 78.
Lim bounced back on the second day, carding 66 to a total of 10-under-par, 134. Park carded a 71 falling back to fifth place.
Lim did not let go of the lead until the very end, carding another impeccable 66 on moving day to take a six-stroke lead over runner-up Ro Seung-hui who was looking for her first title since her debut on the KLPGA Tour in 2019.
In the final round, Park fought back, carding four birdies and one bogey in the first nine while Lim started out her final round with two straight birdies, adding a third in the first nine.
Lim was named Most Popular Player of the Year last season after defending her title at the HighOne Resort Ladies Open 2021 held at HighOne Country Club in Jeongseon, Gangwon.
Despite winning just one title, Lim had the third most top 10 finishes last season. Three of them were runner-up finishes including a runner-up finish at the KLPGA-LPGA joint event, the BMW Ladies Championship, where countrywoman Ko Jin-young won.
Lim has not yet won a title this season. After a car accident ahead of starting her season in April, Lim had to withdraw from the season's second event, the inaugural Mediheal-Hankook Ilbo Championship that ran from April 14 to April 17. At the time, Lim had said that she banged her head against the windshield and had some contusions but no serious injuries.
She was back on the field at the Nexen-Saintnine Masters 2022 and finished ninth, but Lim withdrew from the KLPGA Championship the following week and then failed to make the cut in the NH Investment & Securities Ladies Championship in the first week of May.
However, Lim found her form back at the Doosan Match Play Championship at Ladena Golf Club in Chuncheon, Gangwon, finishing in third place.
Lim winning the major tournament seven strokes ahead of the 2021 Player of the Year Park at a notoriously difficult event played on a complicated golf course may mean that Lim is jump-starting her true form. The Rainbowhills golf course has lots of slopes, steep undulating greens alongside difficult bunkers around the greens and high tees that offer little visibility.
The golfer to win the Korea Women's Open with the biggest stroke difference is Oh in 2018.
The KLPGA Tour continues Thursday with the BC Card · Hankyung Ladies Cup 2022 at Fortune Hills in Pocheon, Gyeonggi.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [email@example.com]