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Kim Ji-hyun becomes 3 KLPGA winner to ascend the throne of 'Major Queen’

Kim Ji-hyun becomes 3 KLPGA winner to ascend the throne of 'Major Queen’

Posted June. 19, 2017 07:12,   

Updated June. 19, 2017 07:40


The era of Kim Ji-hyun (aged 26, Hanwha) has wide open in Korea’s field.

Kim made five birdies and 3 bogies to reduce two shots in Kia Motors’ 31st Korea Women’s Open fourth round on Sunday where 23,000 galleries gathered. She beat Jeong Yeon-ju, the champion in 2011, and Kim Min-sun by two shots with the final score of five-under par.

Winning last week’s S-OIL championship in the fifth overtime, Kim has won the championship for the two consecutive months to record three victories, the largest number of victories in the season. As a three-time champion in the recent eight matches, she has earned some 250 million Korean won (approx. 220,672 U.S. dollars) to top the list of players in the prize money and ranks first among players in total victories.

“I am so happy because I really wanted to win this match," Kim said. "I am thrilled because it’s two consecutive wins. There were many hard days but I think I should do more." She has strong legs because she used to be a short track skater when she was an elementary school student. She says the secrets to the winning streak are the longer driving distance than before by more than 10 yards thanks to the weight training she does everyday and a more accurate iron shot.

Today’s fierce competition came to an end in the very tricky 13th hole (par 4), second from the last three holes, called "bear’s claw." Kim was a co-leader in this hole and dropped the second shot in the water but after receiving a penalty stroke, she sent the fourth shot very close to the cup to defend the hole with a bogey. It was a really precious bogey because she would have recorded a catastrophic double or more bogies here.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com