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Kang Soo-yun wins JLPGA title at age 41

Posted May. 29, 2017 07:27,   

Updated May. 29, 2017 07:36


Kang Soo-yun, the oldest of the Korean golfers who are playing in the Korean, Japanese and US professional women’s golf tours, has won a championship at age 41.

Kang reduced four strokes by adding five birdies and 1 bogey in the final, third round of the Resort Trust Ladies Championship of the Japanese LPGA Tour, which took place at Oakmont Golf Club (par 2) in Nara, Japan on Sunday. Kang had 9-under 207 par overall to clinch the title as she birdied at the first hole in the playoff that took place after she tied with Jeon Mi-jeong and Saiki Fujita.

As a result, Kang has her third career win overall in the JLPGA Tour 11 months after winning the Suntory Ladies Open Championship in June last year. She earned 14.4 million yen (130,000 U.S. dollars) in prize money from the latest event.

Kang had a win in the LPGA Tour after winning 11 titles in the KLPGA. She joined the JLPGA tour in 2011, and has become the champion with challenging spirit as a veteran player this time at the age of 41 years, two months and 13 days. She had her first career JLPGA Tour win at the Stanley Ladies Open in October 2013, but had her car rear-ended in Japan in May last year. Despite the accident, she endured pain to participate in the Santori Ladies tournament just a month later and won the title of the JLPGA Tour event.

Kang Soo-yun, who started the final round ranking fourth with a two-stroke gap, had four birdies in the first half alone to tie for first, but slumped to the third place lagging two strokes behind the frontrunner by recording bogey at the 16th hole. She seemed to be losing the opportunity, but managed to secure birdie at the 18th hole, and tied with Fujita, who recorded bogey at the same hole, to continue into the playoff.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com