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Han Hee-won Missed Third Victory

Posted November. 17, 2003 23:00,   


The dream of hugging her fiancé while grabbing the winning cup blew away at the last moment much to our regret.

The first playoff was held on the par-4 18th hole. “Would-be bride” Han Hee-won (Fila Korea), who will get married next month, walked up to the putting green and was cheered on by baseball player Sohn Hyuck, her future lifetime partner. But the 4-meter putting stopped just in front of the cup. Meanwhile, USA’s Dorothy Delasin`s 2.5-meter birdie putt sank into the cup. As the moment of breathless contention finished, Han showed her disappointment by smiling as Delasin gushed out tears of victory.

On November 17, the fourth round of the US LPGA Tournament of Champions was held on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail`s Crossings Course, par 72, at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Alabama, USA with a $750,000 prize money purse at stake.

Han Hee-won hit five birdies and one bogey on her way to a 4-under par for the day, to finish the tournament with the same 8-under par total that left her tied with Dorothy Delasin of USA. However, Han was defeated in the playoffs to finish in second place.

Even though she failed to win, Han ran in the lead group for four consecutive days to show off her top class star quality at the “Star Wars” tournament in which the winners of the regular competitions of the last three years and the active members of the Hall of Fame participated. She took fourth place on the prize money list with $1,101,060 season money, adding the second place money of $75,000.

Han Hee-won, having finished with an even-par and four shots off the pace on the front nine, made a birdie on the par-4 10th hole and hit consecutive birdies on the par-5 13th hole and on the par-3 14th to hotly pursue on the back nine holes.

She then lowered her score by another stroke on the par-3 17th hole to tie co-leader Delasin, who succeed in a par save and drove this competition to a playoff. But she stayed on the threshold of the peak.

Kim Mi-hyun (KTF) and Park Ji-eun (Nike Golf) were tied for fourth place with a final 6-under par score. Pak Se-ri (CJ), challenging for the third consecutive victory in this tour, finished tied in 11th place with a one under par total, having putting troubles to end her 12 consecutive “Top 10” finishes since the U.S. Women’s Open (co-50th place) in July.

“Cinderella” Ahn Shi-hyun (Kolon) crumbled in 28th place out of 29 players with an 18-over par total but she earned $10,700 which amounts to the prize money of that of a fifth place finisher in the domestic tour. Delasin, won for the fourth time in her career and jumped to the top 30 in money prize list, has defeated Park Ji-eun in the competition for Rookie of the Year award in 2000 and has defeated Pak Se-ri two consecutive times with come-from-behind victories in the Giant Eagle Classic in 2000 and in 2001. She is the “Korean Killer.” She defeated Han Hee-won to earn a victory this time. Delasin revealed her negative karma with Korean players.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com