This week's KLPGA event is a three rounder taking place starting Friday, May 15th. The big focus is the showdown between In Gee Chun and Jin Young Ko, both winners last week in Japan and Korea respectively. Special guest star is Mirim Lee.
Here is the Korean language promo; title: 'Sophomore Slump' (note: you may have to click to watch it on YouTube, not embedded).
The poster showcases some of the NH sponsorees, including rookie Gyeol Park:
Shocking news: top KLPGA golfer Min Young Lee (who has won several tournaments in the past couple of seasons, including the Pak Se Ri Invitational last season) hasn't been around so far this year. That's because at the Mission Hills LET event in China this past March, she was suddenly struck with severe abdominal pain. The pain was caused by Kidney cancer! Fortunately, she had what seems to have been a successful operation to treat it, and will be returning to action this week for the first time since.
Best of luck to her on what will be a challenging return to golf!
68 was the magic number on day one. Seven players are tied at that level, including Ji Hee Kim.
The Marquee group was #1 Jin Young Ko, #2 In Gee Chun and LPGA guest star Mirim Lee. Lee and Ko did not have strong days, both finishing with 73s. But Chun had a solid round. She drained a ten footer for birdie on 17 to move to three under, then left a final birdie putt on the lip that would have moved her into a tie for the lead. But one back, she is definitely lurking.
Rookie Gyeol Park, playing in her sponsor's event, shot a 70 and is two back. Min Young Lee also shot a 69.
Two more days!
1. Hyun Soo Kim, Ji Won Kang, Seung Hyun Lee, Sung Hyun Park, Ji Hyun Kim, Chae Yoon Park, Ji Hee Kim 68 -4
8. Han Sul Ji (R), In Gee Chun, Min Young Lee, Ji Hyun Kim 2, Jung Min Lee, Min Sun Kim 5, Bo Kyung Kim 69 -3 19. Gyeol Park (R), Ji Hyun Oh, Chae Young Yoon 70 -2 38. Yoon Kyung Heo, Soo Jin Yang, Shi Hyun Ahn 72 Even 52. Je Yoon Yang, Jin Young Ko, Mirim Lee 73 +1 74. Ran Hong 74 +2 88. Char Young Kim 75 +3
KLPGA Round 1
Welcome back, Min Young Lee!
In Gee Chun
Jin Young Ko
Soo Jin Yang
Char Young Kim models a look from the Juicy Fruit line
Jung Min Lee was the #2 player on tour last year, but she has been quiet this season while In Gee Chun and Jin Young Ko collected wins and runner up finishes.
But on Saturday she shot a 67 to move into a two shot lead, setting herself up for her first win of the year.
Among those not far back are rookie bomber Ju Yeon In, who also shot a 67 and now sits at 5 under total.
In Gee Chun shot a 71 and is four back; Jin Young Ko rallied and is five back.
Mirim Lee shot a 70 and is 7 back.
One more day!
1. Jung Min Lee 67 -8 2. Chae Yoon Park 70 -6 3. Ji Hyun Kim 70, Song Yi Ahn 69, Ju Yeon In (R) 67, Min Young Lee 70, Sung Hyun Park 71, Su Yeon Jang 68, Hyun Su Kim 71 -5
Notables: 10. Bo Kyung Kim 71, Gyeol Park (R) 70, In Gee Chun 71, Min Sun Kim 5 71 -4 15. Jin Young Ko 68, Yoon Kyung Heo 69, Seung Hyun Lee 73, Ji Hee Kim 73, Ji Hyun Oh 71, Han Sul Ji (R) 72 -3 31. Mirim Lee 70 -1 35. Shi Hyun Ahn 72 Even 54. Soo Jin Yang, Ran Hong 72, Chae Young Yoon 76 74 +2
Cut 87. Char Young Kim 75 +6 102. Je Yoon Yang 79 +8
Round 3: Jung Min Lee Scores Her First Win of 2015
Jung Min Lee followed through on her position after round 2 with a win, but it was nowhere as easy as it might have seemed at the start.
Je Yoon Park got off to a torrid start: birdies on 4 of her first seven holes, and a hole out eagle on two. Just like that she had caught and passed Lee, who had herself started with three birdies in her first five holes. Game on!
In fact, by hole 7 it was Park with the one shot lead, but that was her last birdie of the day and she wound up with two back nine bogies to fall away from Lee.
Lee made two more birdies early on the back nine and cruised to a three shot win over Park.
Rookie Gyeol Park made a furious charge on the back, making birdies on 9, 12, 13 and 16 - 18. She got to 10 under, good for a t-2nd, her best KLPGA finish to date. Her sponsor, also the event's sponsor, must have been happy!
Rookie Han Sul Ji also had a top five, as the rookie stars are starting to make noise this season.
In Gee Chun wound up 6th, not a bad week for her. Jin Young Ko was T-13th.
But it's all about Jung Min Lee today. Congratulations to her!
1. Jung Min Lee 67 -13 2. Gyeol Park (R) 66, Je Yoon Park 68 -10 4. Min Sun Kim 5 68 -8 5. Han Sul Ji (R) 68 -7
Notables: 6. Ji Hyun Oh 69, In Gee Chun 70 -6 13. Bo Kyung Kim 72, Jin Young Ko 71 -4 19. Shi Hyun Ahn 69, Min Young Lee 74, Yoon Kyung Heo 72 -3 29. Mirim Lee 71, Ji Hee Kim 73 -2 50. Chae Young Yoon 73 +3 58. Ran Hong 75 +5 62. Soo Jin Yang 77 +7