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Tenacious Kim Ji-young wins first KLPGA victory

Posted May. 15, 2017 07:19,   

Updated May. 15, 2017 07:35


Kim Ji-young couldn’t hide her disappoint when she missed a 2 meter birdie putt on the 18th hole. However, galleries packed into the golf course applauded. She didn’t realize that she won the game until her colleagues rushed her to send flowers for celebration.

“I thought I need a par to win the game," Kim said. "I didn’t look at the leaderboard (graded list) to stay focused. I was not nervous.” The 21-year-old golfer did not lose her focus during the game and finally took the victory at Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) tour for the first time.

Kim Ji-young recorded 2-under-par with five birdies and three bogies on the third round of NH Investment & Securities Ladies Championship held at Suwon Country Club (72 pars) in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province on Sunday.

She took the victory with a final score of 11-under-par and beat Kim Ja-young, Lee Ji-hyun, and Kim Ji-hyun by one shot in 36 games since her tour debut in 2016.

It was a very tight race as seven players shared the lead until the 12th hole. However, Kim secured her victory by running as the only lead by making a 20 meter chip-in birdie and widening the gap by two pars at the 17th hole (par 5) while her competitors were making mistakes.

Kim finished second in last season by losing games in overtime twice. The Sunday’s prize money was 140 million won, recording a total of 330 million won for eight games in the 2017 season. Her prize money has already surpassed 310 million won that she earned in 28 games last year.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com