Jamg edges out Lee with as­ton­ish­ing shot on fi­nal hole

The Korea Times - - SPORTS -

Jang Ha-na won the Hana Fi­nan­cial Group Cham­pi­onship fol­low­ing an as­ton­ish­ing shot on the penul­ti­mate hole, Sun­day, when she nearly con­verted her third shot into an ea­gle. How­ever, she had to set­tle for a win­ning tap-in birdie.

The 27-year-old had rounds of 69-65-72-70 for an over­all 12-un­der 276, com­ing from a sin­gle stroke be­hind to vic­tory at the 6,579-yard Sky 72 Golf Club’s Ocean Course in In­cheon, west of Seoul, af­ter set­ting a course record 65, Fri­day.

Jang edged Lee Da-yeon by a sin­gle stroke, af­ter be­ing win­less for a year-and-a-half, to claim her first win of the sea­son and her 11th over­all on the KLPGA Tour, earn­ing a win­ner’s check for 375 mil­lion won.

The win was no easy mat­ter as she had a roller-coaster fi­nal round, nearly los­ing out to Lee who rat­tled off three birdies in a row over the open­ing stretch to take the lead, be­fore the mirac­u­lous ap­proach on the 17th.

En­ter­ing the fi­nal round, Jang was a stroke shy of Kim Ji-young2 and a shot clear of Lee, while be­ing trailed by world top star Ko Jin-young and daunt­less rookie Lee Ga-young, who were two shots be­hind.

Jang set off with a birdie on the first hole, and af­ter a train of six pars, also birdied the 8th, over­tak­ing Lee, who put her tee-shot into the bunker and ended with a hor­ri­ble three-putt dou­ble-bo­gey.

Get­ting through the 9th with a par, Jang made the turn at 12-un­der, a stroke clear of Lee at 11-un­der, as overnight leader Kim faded away early with a dou­ble-bo­gey on the 7th and a bo­gey on the 8th.

Lee then birdied the 10th giv­ing her a share of the lead with Jang.

On the next hole, Jang’s sec­ond shot hit the pin di­rectly be­fore bounc­ing away, and af­ter end­ing with a par, she was a sin­gle stroke be­hind Lee, who birdied the hole.

Jang failed to get up and down for par on the par-3 12th, find­ing her­self three strokes adrift when Lee birdied the 13th. How­ever, this lead was re­duced to a sin­gle stroke af­ter Lee in­curred an­other dou­ble-bo­gey on the 16th.

Get­ting through the par-3 17th with­out in­ci­dent, she needed a birdie to force a play­off on the last hole. Un­til that stage, she looked like she would be the loser.

Jang hit a mar­velous ap­proach, while Lee ended up with a three­p­utt bo­gey, de­spite putting the ball on the green — although it was far from the hole.

She dra­mat­i­cally se­cured her oneshot vic­tory and then left the green emo­tion­ally wip­ing tears from her eyes.

Later she said, “I think I could win be­cause I didn’t give up till the last mo­ment. It was a roller coaster fi­nal round. I paid par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to the wind and speed of the greens.”

Long-time leader Lee set­tled for a tie for sec­ond place with overnight leader Kim at 11-un­der.

UPI-Yon­hap

New York Yan­kees bat­ter Didi Gre­go­rius, right, cel­e­brates with run­ner Gary Sanchez at home plate af­ter hit­ting a grand slam home run against the Min­ne­sota Twins in the third in­ning of their Amer­i­can League Di­vi­sion Series Game 2 of the 2019 MLB Play­offs at Yan­kee Sta­dium in New York City on Satur­day.

Yon­hap

Jang Ha-na, the win­ter of the Hana Fi­nan­cial Group Cham­pi­onship kisses the tro­phy dur­ing the award cer­e­mony at Sky 72 Golf Club in In­cheon, west of Seoul, Sun­day.

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