Chun breaks drought
It’s been two years since In Gee Chun has found the winner’s circle on the LPGA Tour, but the wait is over.
Chun, who was part of the victorious South Korean team at the UL International Crown a week ago, carried those good vibes into the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship this week.
Chun shot back-to-back 66’s on the weekend to finish at 16-under, three shots clear of Charley Hull.
It was Chun’s third-career LPGA Tour victory. The 24-year-old is also a two-time major champion, as her other two wins were on the sport’s biggest stages (2015 U.S. Women’s Open and 2016 Evian Championship).
“I think naturally for some reason, I thought this my third win would also be a major,” said Chun. “Of course, that doesn't mean that I didn't focus or I didn't want to win at other events. I wanted to win and I did focus at these other events.”
Chun finished second or tied for second five times in 2016, and she was thrilled to get over the hump this week. Her emotions got the best of her Sunday, as she admitted she had gone through a difficult period over the last 18 months.
“When my win was finalized, all the difficult struggles that I have gone through the past years kind of went before me, and all the faces of the people who kept on believing in me went by, and so I teared up constantly,” she said.
“I think my family, my management team, all the people who care for me and support me, I think it was a really difficult time for them because of me. I'm just really happy to be able to win and to pay them back with this sort of good result.”
Hull has best finish of the year
Charley Hull is peaking before the final tournament of the year, one she is intimately aware of how to be successful at.
Hull, the 2016 CME Group Tour Championship winner, notched her best result of the year Sunday at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship. She was runner-up, just three shots back of In Gee Chun’s winning total.
Hull was part of Team England at the UL International Crown last week, helping lead the team to a tie for second. She has five top-10 results this season, and three of those have come at major championships.
“I've had a third this year and now a second and quite a few Top-10 places, so hopefully, yeah, (a win) is around the corner,” she said Sunday.
Hull shot 1-under par Sunday, but made four bogeys. She admitted she struggled with her putting in the final round. Three of her five birdies on the day came right before or after a bogey, and she couldn’t get any momentum going.
Still, she said it was a thrill to be in the mix for a victory late in a final round on the LPGA Tour.
“I've been playing pretty well so far this season,” she said. “Had a bit of a quiet spell through like the Women's British Open and stuff and I feel like my game is in really good condition.”
No’s 1 and 2 end up T3
The top two golfers on the Rolex Rankings both ended up tied for third at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, as both Sung Hyun Park and Ariya Jutanugarn had yet another good week.
For Park, it was her sixth top-10 finish of the year, which includes three wins. She’ll stay on top of the Rolex Rankings for her 10th straight week this week.
Jutanguarn, meanwhile, notched her 14th top-10 this week – the most on Tour. Jutanugarn also leads the Race to the CME Globe and the money list by a commanding margin thanks to her three wins and constant play all year long.
Park and Jutanugarn shot 69 and 71, respectively, on Sunday. They both finished at 12-under for the week, four shots back of winner In Gee Chun.
Henderson notches another good result
Brooke Henderson had never taken this much time off during her LPGA Tour career, but she shook off the rust well enough this week in South Korea.
The Canadian, who has two wins on the year, finished tied for 14th at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship – her 12th top-15 finish of 2018.
Henderson hadn’t played since The Evian Championship.
The native of Smiths Falls, Ont. fired a 7-under-par 65 Saturday to move into contention after shooting back-to-back 1-over-par 73’s in the first two rounds.
The 65 was tied for the second-lowest round of the week.
Henderson remained second on the money list and third on the Race to the CME Globe after her finish Sunday.