‘It’s not over until it’s over’

After a back-and-forth, nail-biting final round of the tournament, all three players in the championship group were tied for the lead, sending the tournament into extra time. On the 18th hole (par-4) of the three-way playoff, Hong Ji-won (23, YOJIN E&C) pumped her fist in the air and roared in triumph after sinking a one-foot birdie putt to win the match. A smiling Hong Ji-won, whose victory was in doubt until the very end, made it two wins in a row at a major after her surprise victory at last year’s Hanwha Classic.

Hong Ji-won shot a 1-under 71 in the final round of the DB Group Korea Women’s Open Golf Championship (total prize money of 1.2 billion won), the second major of the season, at Rainbow Hills Country Club (par 72-6721 yards) in Eumseong-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do, on Monday for a 12-under 276 total.

After three rounds at 11-under 205, she entered the final round three strokes behind leader Madasom (14-under 202). In third place, just one stroke behind runner-up Kim Min-byul (12-under 204), the South Korean won her second major title in an upset drama that went to a playoff.

After the match, Hong Ji-won said, “I’m a little nervous. I didn’t expect to win until the first half of the day, so I’m even more nervous.” “It was actually beneficial to get into the rough in the last overtime second round. I got a little lucky and won.”

After dropping two strokes in the first half of the final round, it was a different story in the second half. Hong Ji-won stole three consecutive birdies at 10-11-12 to start the second half and moved into a tie for second place with Kim Min-byul, closing to within one shot of leader Madasom. But then the 17th (par-3) hole changed everything. Madasom, who was leading by two strokes over Hong Ji-won, dropped two strokes with a missed shot, a bunker shot, and a mistake on her approach. Min Byul Kim was one shot behind in third.

The tournament was still in doubt until the final 18 holes. The tension was even more intense on the 18th hole (par-4), where only a putting battle remained. Hong Ji-won and Madasom saved par, and Kim Min-byul made a long birdie putt to tie for the lead at 12-under par 276. The match went to a three-way playoff.

On the 18th hole of the first overtime, Madasom missed an 8.3-meter birdie putt to save par. Then, Hong Ji-won missed a 5.9-meter birdie putt and Kim Min-byul, who had a chance to win, missed a 2.2-meter birdie putt, sending the match into a second overtime. Hong Ji-won sank a birdie to complete her double major victory.

Two major victories. Major tournaments are notorious for their difficult courses. In response, Hong Ji-won said, “If there are many variables for me, I think it is equally difficult for other players, so I think playing confidently in every match led to my good performance. I am focusing on my game with the idea that even if I lose a game, I can make up for it again.” Her next goal is to win three majors. “My goal is to win the remaining three majors,” said Hong Ji-won.

Meanwhile, Madasom, who held the lead late in the final round after the second and third rounds of the tournament, missed a series of shots in the second overtime to slip away from the early lead, while Kim Min-byul, the top player in the Rookie of the Year race, missed a birdie putt at the last. Both players will have to wait until the next tournament to claim their first career victories.메이저놀이터

Park Min-ji, who was the favorite to win the tournament, shot an even par in the final round, while Kim Min-sol (Soosung Bangtongo, 2nd year), who is competing for the Hangzhou Asian Games, lost one shot and finished in a tie for fourth place at 9-under 279. Behind them, Lee Ye-won, who finished second in last week’s Celltrion event in an overtime playoff with Park Min-ji, dropped two strokes on the day, while Hong Jung-min shot even par to finish in a tie for sixth place at 8-under 280.

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