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Ji Eun-hee claims 6th LPGA win in 40 months

Posted May. 31, 2022 08:02,   

Updated May. 31, 2022 08:15


Ji Eun-hee, 36, has claimed her sixth LPGA victory, becoming the oldest LPGA winner from South Korea. Ji also earned the last spot in the U.S. Women’s Open, which will be held this week.

Ji won the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play, the only match play event of the LPGA, held at Shadow Creek Golf Club, Las Vegas on Sunday (local time). After defeating Korean-American golfer Andrea Lee in the semifinals by four shots on Saturday, Ji beat Ayaka Furue of Japan by three shots in the finals. Ji secured her sixth LPGA win after winning the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January 2019. Ji took home the $225,000 winner’s check.

Nicknamed, “Mickey Mouse” for her smile even when her play does not go her way, Ji overtook Park Hee-young, who won the 2020 ISPS Handa Vic Open at age 32 years, eight months and 17 days, to become the oldest South Korean golfer to win an LPGA Tour event. “I don’t feel old,” said Ji, adding her feet almost did not move at the last couple holes and her back hurt from playing seven matches for five days. Ji was able to take enough rest compared to other golfers as she beat Choi Hye-jin by two strokes in the round of 16 and Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden by seven strokes in the quarterfinals.

With her sixth win, Ji also earned a spot in the U.S. Women’s Open scheduled to be held in Southern Pines, North Carolina from Wednesday. Qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open for the 15th consecutive time from 2008 and even winning the event in 2009, Ji said winning an LPGA title was the only way to play in the U.S. Women’s Open, adding she focused on the latest event.

Hong-Gu Kang windup@donga.com