Go to contents

Jeon Seol-an, What a Pity it is!

Posted April. 18, 2004 21:20,   


She was on the sixteenth hole (par 4, 412 yards) and seventh extra hole.

Jeon Seol-an, 23, was on her feet at the right rough of the fairway to try a second shot, when she tossed a root of grass to check the wind. Grass immediately scattered in the air; it looked like a strong head or side wind.

Jeon, using a wood 5 instead of an iron, made a powerful swing, but the ball flew over the green and fell down a hill behind the TV relay tower. Jeon hung her head, foreseeing her imminent defeat.

After the game Jeon explained, “I chose wood 5 because I thought iron 3 would make it shorter, but it was difficult to gauge the wind.” Meanwhile Christie Kerr (U.S.) succeeded in hitting the ball into the fringe next to the green, resulting in an ideal situation for putting the par.

Jeon made a mistake on the third shot putting the ball in the rough again, and her fourth shot fell too far from the hole, despite arriving at the green.

While Jeon missed the putting even for a bogey, Kerr saved a par to win the LPGA Tour championship for the second time since 1997. It marked the first victory for an American player.

The final round of the Takefuji Classic (total prize 1.1 million dollars), held at Las Vegas CC (par 72) on April 18, thus drew to an end. It was a tough match with the second longest extra-hole game in LPGA history. In the final round, while the wind blew steadily and a light rain fell, two golfers completed the close game.

Gaining momentum, Kerr led Jeon (seven under par by four strokes) until the twelfth hole, and her win seemed inevitable. But while Kerr stepped back with three straight bogeys on thirteen holes, Jeon tied the game with eight under par after she birdied the thirteenth hole and had a par in the following two holes.

Jeon bogeyed the sixteenth hole, but began the extra games with the score of seven under par and 209 strokes, thanks to Kerr’s bogey falling short while putting in eighteenth hole. Two golfers in turn missed the chance for a birdie, continuing pars for six holes in a row, but Jeon’s mistake on the extra seventh hole ultimately gave Kerr the title. It was a desperate fight, only three holes short of the longest extra game in the history of LPGA (10 holes, in 1972).

Second-place winner Jeon said, “It was a lot fun. I was excited to play with Kerr, who I have seen on TV. She has many things to teach.”

Jeon, a Korean national golfer, quit Kyoung-hee University to develop her skills on the Futures tour, second class LPGA in 2002. As a promising player, she will compete for the rookie title against Song Aree (Bin Pole Golf) and Ahn Shi-hyun (Kolon Elord) this season.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com