The round 1 leader is Sung Hyun Park, who shot a 6 under par 66.
But *nine* players are tied for second, just two back. Among that crowd is Hyo Joo Kim, fresh off her Major win at the Evian. She had by far the largest galleries following her on day one, and she did not disappoint.
Also shooting a 68 was In Gee Chun, also just back from France. But Ha Na Jang had a disastrous first round, shooting a 76 to put her well back.
Among the others tied for second are Ran Hong and rookie star Kyu Jung Baek.
The other two rookie superstars, Jin Young Ko and Min Sun Kim, shot 69s. Ha Neul Kim missed a short par save on 17 and fell back to this level as well; she had been at 4 under.
Hee Young Park struggled to a 75, but Mirim Lee shot a 71.
Three more days!
1. Sung Hyun Park 66 -6 2. Hye Rim Kim, Hyo Joo Kim, Su Yeon Jang, Ran Hong, Yu Na Park, Ji Ram Kwon, Kyu Jung Baek (R), In Gee Chun, Ji Hyun Kim 2 68 -4 11. Jin Young Ko (R), Min Sun Kim 5 (R), Hye Youn Kim, Ha Neul Kim, Choo Young Park 69 -3 20. Seung Hyun Lee, Yoon Kyung Heo, Da Na Kim, Jung Min Lee 70 -2 28. Chae Young Yoon , Shin Ae Ahn, Soo Jin Yang, Ji Hee Kim, Mirim Lee, Sei Young Kim 71 -1 45. Char Young Kim, Ji Hyun Oh (R) Even 72 65. Shi Hyun Ahn 73 +1 78. Hyun Hee Moon 74 +2 96. Hee Young Park, Sarah Oh 75 +3 110. Ha Na Jang 76 +4 118. Kyeong Bae, Hyun Hwa Shim 77 +5
In the morning rounds, Mirim Lee made a huge charge. Playing in her first KLPGA event since she won for the first time on the LPGA, Lee posted a 65 to vault into a tie for the lead at 8 under par.
In the afternoon, several more players reached that level, including In Gee Chun and Yoon Kyung Heo. Chun stalled there, shooting her second straight 68 for an 8 under total and a tie for second.
But Heo managed two birdies in her final three holes to move to 10 under and a two shot lead. She shot a sizzling 64. Interestingly, she and the LPGA's first round co-leader, MJ Hur, share the same surname (they are not related). They just choose to spell it differently in English!
Ha Neul Kim fell backwards with a 73, but made the cut easily. Hyo Joo Kim shot a 70 and is four back.
Among the rookie stars, Kyu Jung Baek is tied for 9th, four back, while Jin Young Ko and Min Sun Kim are a shot behind her.
Hee Young Park struggled in round 1, and though she was under par in round 2, still missed the cut.
However, Ha Na Jang shot a 68 to easily make the weekend.
Two more days!
1. Yoon Kyung Heo 64 -10 2. Min Sung Ha (R) 66 -8 - In Gee Chun 68 -8 - Mirim Lee 65 -8 5. Seung Hyun Lee 67 -7 - Bo A Kim 68 -7 - Ran Hong 69 -7 - Su Yeon Jang 69 -7
9. Kyu Jung Baek (R) 70 -6 - Hyo Joo Kim 70 -6 13. Jin Young Ko (R) 70 -5 - Choo Young Park 70 -5 - Min Sun Kim 5 (R) 70 -5 20. Hye Youn Kim 71 -4 - Jung Min Lee 70 -4 27. Sei Young Kim 70 -3 32. Min Young Lee 70 -2 - Shin Ae Ahn 71 -2 - Ha Neul Kim 73 -2 42. Shi Hyun Ahn 70 -1 - Ji Hyun Oh (R) 71 -1 - Da Na Kim 73 -1 49. Ha Na Jang 68 Even - Soo Jin Yang 73 Even - Ji Hee Kim 73 Even 58. Chae Young Yoon 74 +1
Cut 68. Kyeong Bae 69 +2 - Hee Young Park 71 +2 126. Hye In Lee 83 +15
Ran Hong had a fantastic day on Saturday, shooting a 67 to surge into a three shot lead by the end of the day.
The nearest chaser, however, is recent Evian champ Hyo Joo Kim, who shot a 69 to finish solo second at 9 under.
Just behind her is virtual unknown Bo A Kim, third at 8 under.
Mirim Lee played in the final group, but had a horrible day to effectively end her chances of winning this event barring a miracle. She shot a 78.
Yoon Kyung Heo, who started the day with the lead, also struggled, shooting a 75 to fall 5 back of Hong. In Gee Chun was also over par, and also sits at 7 under.
Can the veteran Hong hold on for the Major trophy, or will Hyo Joo add another impressive victory to her resume? One more day!
1. Ran Hong 67 -12 2. Hyo Joo Kim 69 -9 3. Bo A Kim 71 -8 4. In Gee Chun 73 -7 - Min Sun Kim 5 (R) 70 -7 - Su Yeon Jang 72 -7 - Yoon Kyung Heo 75 -7
Notables: 8. Choo Young Park 71 -6 10. Kyu Jung Baek (R) 73 -5 - Seung Hyun Lee 74 -5 - Jung Min Lee 71 -5 - Jin Young Ko (R) 72 -5 17. Ha Neul Kim 70 -4 24. Mirim Lee 78 -2 - Hye Youn Kim 74 -2 30. Char Young Kim 70 -1 37. Shi Hyun Ahn 73 Even - Da Na Kim 73 Even - Sei Young Kim 75 EVen 44. Ji Hyun Oh (R) 74 +1 - Ha Na Jang 73 +1 48. Ji Hee Kim 74 +2 55. Chae Young Yoon 74 +3 - Shin Ae Ahn 77 +3 59. Soo Jin Yang 76 +4
Round 4: Rookie star Baek Claims Come-From-Behind Major Win
At the start of Sunday's action, Ran Hong held a three shot lead over Hyo Joo Kim. Kim, just coming off the biggest win of her career and looking to make it 2 for 2 in KLPGA Majors in 2014, was an ominous presence on the leaderboard. But she quickly began to struggle and, after a 3 over par 39 on the front, was never a factor.
Hong managed to keep her score at around 12 under, but made no progress beyond that. This gave a bunch of players a chance to make a run at her.
The one who took the best advantage of that was rookie Kyu Jung Baek. Despite two wins in 2014, Baek had become quiet of late, falling to third in the Rookie of the Year standings. But on Sunday she delivered a scintillating 67 to post a score at 10 under. She would have to wait to see if it would be enough.
There were several other players near Hong. In Gee Chun was at 9 under for a while, but two late bogies ruined her shot at the title. Yoon Kyung Heo also was not able to make a move despite a 33 on the front nine that placed her at 10 under for a while.
Hong made her only mistake of the back nine on the 14th hole, but it was a doozy: a double bogey that knocked her back to 10 under. She was not able to make another birdie, and thus wound up in a playoff with Baek.
On the par 5 18th, Baek nearly reached the green in two and pitched to about 5 feet. Hong had a chance to putt first, but left her birdie four feet short. Baek then calmly stepped up and drained the birdie. It was her first career Major and third win of 2014. She is the first rookie since Jiyai Shin to manage three wins in her rookie year. It should be enough for her to retake the rookie lead from Jin Young Ko; this battle is becoming one for the ages!
Congrats to Kyu Jung Baek on her win!!!
1. Kyu Jung Baek (R) 67 -10 (won in 1 hole playoff) 2. Ran Hong 74 -10 3. Jung Min Lee 68 -9 4. Su Yeon Jang 71 -8 - Bo A Kim 72 -8
Notables: 6. In Gee Chun 72 -7 - Min Young Lee 68 -7 - Jin Young Ko (R) 70 -7 - Min Sun Kim 5 (R) 72 -7 - Yoon Kyung Heo 72 -7 11. Hyo Joo Kim 75 -6 13. Ha Neul Kim 71 -5 18. Choo Young Park 74 -4 28. Mirim Lee 73 -1 - Sei Young Kim 71 -1 - Ha Na Jang 70 -1 - Da Na Kim 71 -1 33. Soo Jin Yang 68 Even 36. Hye Youn Kim 75 +1 45. Shi Hyun Ahn 75 +3 - Chae Young Yoon 72 +3 50. Shin Ae Ahn 73 +4 - Ji Hee Kim 74 +4 - Ji Hyun Oh (R) 75 +4 54. Char Young Kim 78 +5
Amazingly, Jin Young Ko is still slightly ahead of Kyu Jung Baek in the Rookie of the Year standings (about 40 points separate them).
No doubt Ko has had a great season, but points or not, if the season ended today, I would take Baek's three wins including a Major over Ko's one win and a few near misses and make Baek the ROY. Sometimes the points lie!
Another note: Baek and Hyo Joo Kim are the only three time winners on tour in 2014. Both have two regular wins and one Major.
Round 4 pix
Kyu Jung Baek
Yoon Kyung Heo
In Gee Chun
Jung Min Lee
Rookie Min Sun Kim
Rookie Jin Young Ko
Hyo Joo Kim
This is Hyo Joo's gallery on Sunday
HYP's Sister CHYP (Chyp is a great nickname for a golfer, eh?)