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Another Korean LPGA Champion Emerges

Posted June. 27, 2006 03:17,   


Jang Jeong won her second title after 11 months since she won her first last year in the Women’s British Open in the fifth year of her LPGA career. As she won 270,000 dollars of prize money, her ranking on the money list soared to the 7th place. She was recorded as the first Korean who won this tournament, which marked its 30th anniversary this year.

Her victory is more meaningful in that it’s a part of the ongoing Korean winning streak on the tour, which includes the last four consecutive tournament trophies. Koreans have swept eight titles out of 15 tournaments this season. Jang’s win also reached the milestone of 60 aggregate wins by Korean players since Ku Ok-hee won the first title in the Standard Register Turquoise Classic in 1988.

“I heard an American player mutter, ‘damn Koreans!,’” said Jang. “It reflects how good we are. The fact that fellow Koreans are so successful stimulates me.”

Learning from Failures-

Last month in the ShopRite LPGA Classic, she began the final round with a lead three strokes ahead, but lost her control to end up in 7th place. This time, she was maintaining a fragile lead with a single-stroke gap. Nevertheless, she sealed her victory with a birdie at the 17th hole (par 5) which hauled her above the leading group. Although her tee shot and the second shot dropped in roughs, her third shot, delivered by a sand wedge, bounced off the flag and finished rolling within a meter of the hole, offering her an easy chance for a birdie putt. “After I suffered the reversal, I decided not to recklessly hurry again. I tried to concentrate until the game was over.”


After Jang putted her ball in to the 18th hole to save a par, a man approximately 30 centimeters taller than her appeared and poured Champagne on her. It turned out to be her boyfriend Lee Jun-sik (27), a KPGA professional. She met him three years ago for the first time during her winter training in Orlando and they came into a closer relationship this year. It was Lee’s first visit to Jang while she was playing and they celebrated her victory together.”

“It hasn’t been long since we met. We’re not too serious but it’s true that we’re meeting each other with good feelings. I had nothing to hide so I made public during the press meeting that he’s my boyfriend.”

June 25-

The day the final round finished was June 25 in local time, the day the Korean War broke out. After the awarding ceremony, Jang visited the Rochester National Cemetery near the golf field and participated in a memorial service to the soldiers who fought in the Korean War. Together with soldiers of about her grandfather’s age, she paid a minute’s silence to 164 fallen soldiers from Rochester. Since Jang’s father served the country as a policeman for 20 years and his uncle died in a battle against a group of armed guerillas, she willingly accepted the invitation. At the cemetery, she received a loud applause.

“Thanks to the help offered by many people, peace was recovered and I can stand here where I am,” Jang said.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com