In her 135th start on Tour, Jenny Shin shot the low round of the day, a bogey free final round 67, to capture her first career LPGA victory at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout Presented by JTBC.
“Still in awe,” Shin said shortly after her win. “Nothing has registered yet. I wanted to talk to my mum, but I was on the verge of tears so I hung up without really her answering the phone. I think it will hit me as soon as I talk to my mum, yeah. I don’t have anything going on right now.”
Shin had found herself near the top of the leaderboard before, with 20 top-10 finishes to her name in a six-year LPGA career, and was finally able to break through in Irving.
“I think I’ve been in contention so many times that I’ve kind of learned how to tune it out,” Shin explained. “I’m not sure I can repeat it exactly the same if I have a chance next time. I think every year I become a better player and I get a little bit more experience. And I think I’ve gotten a lot out of it every time I go through this, so hopefully next year will be better, the year after that will be better.”
After starting her day with a par on the first, Shin got hot making birdies on three of her next four holes to jump into a share of the lead with Gerina Piller and Amy Yang. After a birdie on the par-5 10th, Shin made eight pars coming in to post 14-under for the week which was good enough for the two-shot victory.
“I was chasing the leader all week so looking at the leaderboard didn’t get me nervous at all,” Shin said. “I practiced a lot of three footers the first two days because I kept hitting it too far past, and I know that I’ve made almost every single one of them so that really helped me with my confidence and I had a lot of them coming down the last six holes. So as soon as I made the first one, I went okay, I know I’ll make the second one and make the third one so it was good.”
The win was made even sweeter as fellow pros Sei Young Kim, Na Yeon Choi and Eun-Hee Ji showered her with beer outside of the scoring tent when the victory became official.
“It wasn’t something I pictured, for sure,” Shin said with a smile. “I wanted something like champagne, but now I’m stinking of beer. Then they were like, Oh, you stink of beer, then they shower you more with water. But it’s still good, I’m so glad they stuck around and gave me a shower of beer.”
Piller, the 54-hole leader, finished in a tie for second with MJ Hur and Amy Yang.