‘Waiting in the wings’ Im Jin-hee (Ankang E&C) collected four victories in the final event of the 2023 Korean Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour season to claim her first career victory.
Lim carded five birdies and no bogeys for a 5-under 67 on the third and final day of the SK Shields-SK Telecom Championship (purse: 1 billion won) at the par-72, 6844-yard Rabiebel Country Club Old Course in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, on Wednesday. With a three-day total of 16-under-par 200, Lim finished five strokes clear of second-place finisher Lee Da-yeon (Mediheal) and took home 200 million won in prize money.
With her fourth win of the season, Lim moved ahead of Lee Ye-won (KB Financial Group) and Park Ji-young (Korea Land Trust), who both have three wins. Lim, who made her debut on the regular tour in 2018 but had to fight for survival through the seeding system three years later, started with her first win in 2021 and added one the following year before blossoming this year to claim six career victories.
After sharing the lead with Lee in the first half of the day, her iron shots came alive midway through, and she rallied to make four birdies in her final five holes. “This is the season I want to give myself a 100 out of 100,” said Lim. “It was cold in the beginning, so I played steady and waited for my chance. When I birdied the 15th hole, I knew I was going to win.” Lim will next compete in the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour Qualifying Series, which begins next month.
Lee, who clinched the money list and grand prize last week, finished tied for 11th (2-over-par 218) and added the strokes gained title to complete the 11th Triple Crown of her career. Tied for 14th (3-over par 219), Kim Min-byul (Hite Jinro) clinched the Rookie of the Year award.
The LG Signature Players Championship ($1.3 billion in prize money), the final event on the Korea Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour, concluded at Seowon Valley Country Club (Par 71-7000) in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, and was won by Shin Sang-hoon (BC Card), a month shy of enlisting in the military, in a three-way playoff. Shin, who made his tour debut in 2020 and recorded his first win at the KPGA Championship in June last year, posted his second career victory in one year and five months.
Shin, who was tied for third place, one stroke off the lead, reeled off five birdies and three bogeys on the day to finish at 8-under 276, one stroke off the lead, along with Lee Jae-kyung (CJ) and Jeon Sung-hyun (Webkesh). In the first extra round at the 18th (par-4), Lee was the first to go with a bogey and Shin was forced into a third extra round with Jeon, who was looking for his first career win, but Shin birdied to take home the $264,230 first prize.
Tied for fourth (7-under-par 277), Ham Jung-woo (Hana Financial Group) clinched the top spot in the Genesis Grand Prize points standings, earning a bonus prize of $100 million, a Genesis car, five years of tour seeding and a direct entry into the final round of the PGA Tour Qualifying School. Ko Gun-taek (Daebo Construction), who finished tied for seventh (6-under-par 278), won the most wins (three), while Park Sang-hyun (Dong-A Pharmaceuticals), who tied for 12th (3-under-par 281), secured the prize money (782.17 million won) and the lowest score award. The Rookie of the Year award was won by Park, who became the oldest player in history (37 years, 5 months) at the last tournament. 토토사이트