Mi Jung Hur sat at 3-under for the day through her front nine. A solid showing for the eleven-year LPGA veteran, backed up with a par at the tenth hole.
Then Hur turned the flamethrower on. She made seven birdies in a row from the 11th through 17th holes, carding a 10-under 62, a new Kia Classic record.
“I had goosebumps walking off,” Hur described her majestic performance.
The strong emotion was the culmination of the hard work she put in to rebound from her 2018 season. “Last year I struggled with pretty much everything.”
The 11-year LPGA veteran failed to finish in the top 20 in 19 appearances last season. She turned to her swing coach this offseason, working on her swing plane. She dealt with a cut that plagued her last year, looking to get her swing plane more in-to-out to change her habit.
After Hur’s hard work in the offseason, she faced an immediate challenge. Fighting her way into the ANA Inspiration next week, an event she had played in for nine straight years. With only two events on her schedule, she had limited time to get into the top 80 on the money list for the season.
Hur finished the Bank of Hope Founders Cup at T13 which moved her to 68th on the official money list. After making the cut this week at the Kia Classic she has secured her spot in next week’s ANA Inspiration.
With a focus on her long game, she’s hit 69.4% of fairways and found the green in regulation 78.6% of the time in seven rounds this season.
Those are significant improvements from last year, when she found the fairway 54.1% of the time and the green in regulation 60.5% of the time.
Her new game locked in down the stretch, and Hur knew it. “I started counting the birdies after the third one. I hit it to three, four yards each hole.”
After her seventh consecutive birdie, Hur found herself with a 10-footer for an eighth consecutive birdie. Her bid just grazed to the right of the cup.
After tapping in for par, Hur was all smiles walking off the 18th, “I just gotta stay confident and want to keep playing like this each week.” Her self-belief had returned.