It was just an average day for Amy Yang.
At least that’s how she says it started.
The final round of the 2015 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship got underway with Yang nowhere near the top of the leaderboard. The 2013 champion opened with rounds of 71-72 -70 to fall far off the pace of 54-hole leaders Lydia Ko and Sung Hyun Park at 13-under par. But Yang was back home, playing in front of friends and family at an event that brought back fond memories as the site of her first win on Tour.
Yang’s outward nine wasn’t much to write about. Her back-to-back birdies to start the day ended at two, followed by pars at the third, fourth and fifth holes before Yang dropped a shot at the sixth. Two more pars followed before Yang arrived at the par four, ninth. While her scorecard that day would soon become riddled with color, it was just a plainly marked “four” at her ninth hole of the day that would lead to a far from average back nine for Yang.
“That day I was hitting it so, so on front nine and all of the sudden a good par save at number nine,” Yang told LPGA.com. “I think like was good momentum going to back nine and just started hitting the ball so close and made some 15, 18-feet away birdie putts.”
Yang birdied the par four, 10th hole.
Then, the 11th.
And the 12th.
She added three more birdies to match her personal best of six in a row. But even once Yang eclipsed that at the par four, 16th hole with her seventh consecutive birdie, she still didn’t think much of it.
“I was a little bit, but you know I wasn’t thinking about it much and I think it happened before, nine in a row,” said Yang. “I really wasn’t thinking much. You know if I make many birdies it’s good. It’s just that simple.”
Perhaps the day came easier for Yang because she was playing in front of a hometown crowd and felt comfortable playing in Korea. No, Yang says it was just the opposite.
“Actually a little bit feel more pressure because I have all my family there and my friends come in you know. They only watch me play on TV usually but this is on-site. For me it was a little bit more pressure than normal tournaments but I enjoyed it, it’s good to you know playing in front of them who were there watching.”
They watched as Yang poured in her eighth consecutive birdie of the day at the par three, 17th hole. And that’s the one she remembers most.
“I can remember every hole. But I think the putt on 17, it was on the fringe, but 17 dead away and I made the putt and then the last one obviously to make it,” Yang said. “I mean it was amazing. Amazing day, memory I won’t forget.”
The success Yang found that day was due in part to some big putts but also some great ball striking as she says she was able to knock it close on several holes on that inward nine. But, we’ll never have a way of really knowing for sure since there is hardly any video of her historic feat, just a few shots of her on the 72nd hole draining her ninth and final putt for a course record tying 62. Footage or not, that final round Sunday belonged to not only champion Lexi Thompson but also Yang, who set the record as the only player in the history of the LPGA Tour to record nine consecutive birdies. And don’t give all the credit to her putter. Yang certainly hasn’t.
“Putting? I like hitting better.”
Amy Yang's final round scorecard from 2015 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship