Go to contents

[Golf] Rising Star Shin Wins HSBC Women’s Champions

Posted March. 09, 2009 08:33,   


Shin Ji-yai is nicknamed “Final Round Queen” for her late surges, and pulled off an impressive come-from-behind victory yesterday.

Ahead of the fourth and final round, however, the 21-year-old Shin was outside of the spotlight at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. She was six strokes behind the lead at the start of the round, and had been in a heavy slump this season.

Nonetheless, she won in the end with unrivaled tenacity. She birdied the first four holes to quickly get back into contention.

She shot her second straight 6-under 66 with six birdies, and finished with 11-under 277.

It was Shin’s first victory in three tournaments after becoming an official member of the LPGA Tour this season, the second fastest for a rookie following Karrie Webb of Australia, who won in just her second event.

Though Shin had three victories last year before becoming an LPGA member, she was discouraged by several factors ahead of this season. Her sponsorship contract had been delayed, and her busy schedule full of non-golf engagements prevented her from sufficiently training.

She was humiliated by her first cut-off in the second round of the season-opening SBS Open after hitting as many as 81 strokes.

Her slump forced her back to her first training site in Hampyeong, South Jeolla Province, where she learned the basics of golf. She gradually bounced back and finished tied for 13th at the Honda LPGA Thailand last week.

In Singapore, she birdied the first two holes and threatened Katherine Hull of Australia, who led after sinking a chip-in birdie on the third hole followed by a birdie putt from long distance on the fourth.

Luck also played a part in Shin’s victory. After Hull bogeyed the 10th later in the fourth round, she ended up with an unplayable lie in the flower bed because her driver tee shot slanted excessively to the left on the 13th. After returning to the green in five painful strokes, she made a hole-out with two putts.

Shin took advantage of Hull’s double bogey to tie for the lead.

Hull’s tee shot ended up in the bunker on the 14th. Shin took a two-stroke lead with a birdie on the 15th, taking advantage of Hull’s collapse by landing her third shot 2.3 meters away from the cup.

After calmly sinking her final shot on the 18th, Shin gave a radiant smile of victory. Hull’s tee shot landed at the right rough for a bogey on the final hole.