‘Match Queen’ Ji Eun-hee, the oldest Korean to win LPGA… 6th overall
Enter 2022.05.30 (13:27)
Edited 2022.05.30 (13:28)
Ji Eun-hee (36), the ‘eldest sister’, a Korean player on the US Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) tour, took the trophy after 3 years and 4 months.
Eunhee Ji defeated Ayaka Furue (Japan) by 3 holes in the LPGA Tour Bank of Hope Match Play ($1.5 million total prize money) final held at the Shadow Creek Golf Club (par 72) in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on the 30th (Korean time) .
Previously, Ji Eun-hee reached the final by defeating Korean national Andrea Lee (USA) by 4 holes in the semifinals.
After winning the Diamond Resorts Champions Tournament in January 2019, Ji Eun-hee, who had no relationship with the championship, rose to the ‘Match Queen’ and rose to the LPGA record of 6 wins.
The prize money for the championship is 225,000 dollars (about 280 million won).
Ji Eun-hee, 36 years and 17 days old, set a new record for the oldest Korean win on the LPGA Tour. The previous record was ’32 years, 8 months and 16 days’ set by Park Hee-young (35) at the 2020 ISPS Handa Big Open.
Ji Eun-hee, the oldest Korean player on the LPGA Tour, won four of her six victories over the age of 30.
Ji Eun-hee, who was unable to secure a place in the U.S. Women’s Open, which began on June 3, fell to 83rd in the world rankings and was able to compete in the U.S. Women’s Open with this win.
Ji Eun-hee is the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open champion.
Ji Eun-hee said, “The only way to participate in the US Women’s Open was to win this tournament, but I thought about it a lot and focused a lot.” I think it will come true. I hope that following this week, I will do well next week.” He did not hide his joy and anticipation.
Ji Eun-hee, who played four matches over two days, including the quarterfinals and semifinals the previous day, and the semifinals and finals of the day in the sweltering heat, said, “It was hard physically and mentally.
Ji Eun-hee, who reached the quarterfinals of this tournament last year as well, won seven on the Japanese professional golf tour and overtook Furue, who plays on the LPGA tour this year, with her experience.
Ji Eun-hee has excellent putts and short games, and at 14 years old, she was dragged by Furue, who had an advantage in physical strength, making a short putt mistake in the beginning.
Ji Eun-hee, who started off with a good start by winning the 3rd hole (par 4), where Furue double-bogeed, was unable to keep the par on the 4th (par 5) and 6th holes (par 5), so she was behind by 1 hole.
Ji Eun-hee counterattacked with a birdie on the 8th hole (par 3).
The tee shot seemed to pass the pin for a long time, but it climbed the slope and flowed down the hole again, giving it a 4m birdie opportunity.
Ji Eun-hee, who turned the game around by putting in a birdie putt, took a lead on the ninth hole (par 5) with a shot eagle.
With 92 yards left, the 52-wedge ball lands on the green and rolls into the hole. Ji Eun-hee cheered, raising her arms.
Ji Eun-hee’s momentum has risen, and Huru-e has contracted.
Ji Eun-hee said, “It was a good match, but I didn’t know I was going to go in, but I was happy to go in, and after that, I gained confidence.”
On the 10th hole (par 4), Ji Eun-hee put a difficult 2m par putt, and Hurue failed to make a par save.
Ji Eun-hee gave up the 11th hole (par 4) because she missed the green and failed to keep the par, but on the 12th hole (par 4), Furue bogeyed for 3 putts, so she took the lead by the second hole.
On the 16th hole (par 5), Eunhee Ji put the ball on the green on the fourth time and put a 4m par putt.
Lilia Boo (USA), who could not reach the final after losing to Hurue, beat Andrea Lee by 4 holes in the 3rd and 4th place match to get to 3rd place.
[사진 출처 : AFP=연합뉴스·게티이미지]