Lee Da-yeon, known as the ‘Little Giant’ in the golfing world, showcased her impressive skills at the ‘Hana Financial Group Championship’ held at Cheongna Bears Best Cheongna BC on the 24th. Despite her height of 157 cm, Lee Da-yeon’s powerful swing consistently drives the ball over 240 yards, proving her ability to compete against taller opponents. Her exceptional performance in major competitions has earned her recognition and respect.
During the tournament, Lee Da-yeon had a dramatic moment that brought her to tears. In the third playoff, she managed to make a birdie from 9m, surpassing world number 7 Lee Min-ji from Australia and securing her victory. Lee Da-yeon’s strong faith and determination played a significant role in her success. She stated, “Even when I doubted myself, I knew I had to believe in myself and keep fighting.”
The Korean Women’s Professional Golf Tour (KLPGA) Financial Hana Group Championship took place at the Bears Best Cheongna Golf Club in Incheon on the 24th. In the final round, Lee Da-yeon made 4 birdies and 1 bogey, resulting in a total of 8 under par 280 strokes. This score tied her with Lee Min-ji and Patty Tawatanakit, an active player on the LPGA Tour from Thailand. The game ended in overtime, where Lee Da-yeon eventually emerged as the winner.
This victory marked Lee Da-yeon’s second win of the season and added to her total of 8 career wins. Previously, she had triumphed in the KLPGA Championship in April, proving her consistency and skill. As a result of her victory, she received 270 million won in prize money. It is worth mentioning that Lee Da-yeon faced disappointment in the 2019 tournament, losing to Jang Hana despite leading by three strokes. This win, therefore, holds special significance for her.
The outcome of the playoff surprised many spectators, as Lee Da-yeon was not the favored contender. Her opponent, Lee Min-ji, is a world-class player with 9 wins, including 2 majors, and had recently won a tournament on the LPGA Tour. Additionally, Tawatanakit’s incredible slugging power had earned her the nickname “female DeChambeau” after winning a major tournament in her first year. The 18th hole, where the playoff took place, posed challenges with its length and bunkers, requiring precise shots. Lee Da-yeon’s ability to remain calm under pressure proved crucial, as she tied with a par and a bogey in the first two overtime games and subsequently won the third with a birdie putt from 9 meters away.
Reflecting on her performance, Lee Da-yeon shared her mindset during the playoff. Even after making a 3-putt mistake in the second extension and facing a lengthy putt in the third, she trusted herself and found comfort in the knowledge that she would still be in second place even if she missed. Lee Min-ji had a chance to make a birdie from a shorter distance but failed to do so. The disappointment was evident, as she missed a 90cm par putt that could have determined the outcome in the second overtime. Lee Min-ji had previously experienced a similar defeat in this competition two years ago.
Lee Da-yeon’s journey has not been without hurdles. In July of last year, she faced injuries to her wrist and elbow which required rehabilitation, sidelining her for the remainder of the season. However, she made an impressive comeback this year, winning two tournaments. Her victory in the ‘Hana Financial Group Championship’ solidified her reputation as a formidable force in the golfing world. Notably, Lee Da-yeon has shown her strength in major competitions, with three previous major victories, including the 2019 Korea Women’s Open, the Hanwha Classic in 2021, and the KLPGA Championship in 2023. Her remarkable accomplishments demonstrate her dedication and talent in the sport.
Lee Da-yeon reads the putting green on the 4th hole of the final round of the ‘Hana Financial Group Championship’ held at Cheongna Bears Best Cheongna BC on the 24th. /KLPGA
Lee Da-yeon (27) is nicknamed ‘Little Giant’ for her powerful swing, averaging over 240 yards despite her height of 157 cm, and her strong performance in major competitions.
Lee Da-yeon shed tears after managing to make a birdie from 9m in the third playoff, defeating world number 7 Lee Min-ji (27, Australia) and reaching the top. He is a man of strong faith and said, “Even when I couldn’t believe in myself, I thought I had to believe in myself and fight.”
The Korean Women’s Professional Golf Tour (KLPGA) Financial Hana Group Championship (total prize money of 1.5 billion won) was held at Bears Best Cheongna Golf Club (par 72) in Incheon on the 24th. Lee Da-yeon dropped 3 strokes with 4 birdies and 1 bogey in the 4th round on the final day, recording a total of 8 under par 280 strokes, along with Lee Min-ji and Patty Tawatanakit (23, Thailand), who active. on the LPGA Tour The game was tied and won in overtime.
Lee Da-yeon, who picked up her second win of the season (8 wins in total) following her victory at the KLPGA Championship last April, received 270 million in prize money. Lee Da-yeon suffered the pain of losing to Jang Hana in this 2019 tournament after leading by three strokes until the 16th hole.
When these three went to overtime, not many people predicted Lee Da-yeon’s victory.
Lee Min-ji is a world-class player with 9 wins (2 majors), including winning the LPGA Tour earlier this month, and her strengths have long been power shots and hitting irons. Tawatanakit is a ‘cannon’ who won the ANA Inspiration, a major tournament in 2021, the first year of her first game, with such incredible slugging power that she is called the ‘female DeChambeau’. In addition, the 18th hole (par 4 hole), where the overtime took place, is 397 yards long and has a bunker in front of the green, so it was important to hit the tee shot well away and then grab short iron. Lee Da-yeon tied with a par and a bogey in the first and second overtime games, then won the third overtime game with a birdie putt from 9 meters away.
Lee Da-yeon said, “I made a 3-putt mistake in the second extension and had a long putt left in the third extension, but I thought I was in second place even if I couldn’t make it, so I trusted myself and comforted myself.” Lee Min-ji had a birdie chance from a distance of 2 meters, which was much shorter than Lee Da-yeon, but he failed to make it. Minji Lee was disappointed that he was unable to score the 90cm par putt that would have decided the match in the second overtime. Lee Min-ji also lost the championship to Song Ga-eun in this competition two years ago after overtime. Tawatanakit was eliminated in the first overtime after hitting his second shot into a bunker and making bogey.
Lee Da-yeon spent the rest of the season rehabilitating due to wrist and elbow injuries in July last year, but made a great comeback this year with two wins. Lee Da-yeon, who made her debut on the KLPGA tour in 2015, showed her strength in majors by winning this tournament which featured several LPGA tour players, following three major victories including the 2019 Korea Women’s Open , the Hanwha Classic in 2021, and the KLPGA Championship in 2023.
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