Thursday Jun 08, 2023

Choi Eun-woo wins first KLPGA title at Nexen Saint Nine Masters

Choi Eun-woo became the 10th champion of the Nexen Saint Nine Masters, grabbing her first ever KLPGA title over former champions at Gaya Country Club in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang on Sunday.

Choi managed a nine-under-par, 207, beating runner-up Ko Ji-u by a margin of one stroke — the Nine Masters was a three-day, 54-hole stroke play event.

Choi made her pro debut in 2015 and the Nine Masters was her 211st KLPGA event. The 27-year-old had previously tied for second place once and managed a top-10 finish 19 times in her career.

Choi was in joint fourth place with a three-under-par 141 before Sunday — four strokes more than then-frontrunner Lee So-mi — but she shone throughout the last round.안전놀이터

She managed a bogey-free six-under-par 66 on Sunday with six birdies.

Choi first made birdies on the sixth, seventh and ninth holes to climb up the standings, before managing birdies again on the 13th, 14th and 16th holes to take the top spot.

“I did not expect this at all,” Choi said after the event. “The margin of strokes with the frontrunner was big when I started today, so I just focused on myself rather than trying to win the event.

“Today is my dad’s birthday, so I think I gave him the best present.”

Lee So-mi, on the other hand, tied for third place with six-under-par 210 after ceding the top spot.

The Nine Masters is a prestigious KLPGA competition and earned a prominent reputation after some former winners went on to bigger and better things in the golf world.

Ko Jin-young — ranked at No. 3 on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and one of the top golfers on the LPGA Tour — won the Nexen Masters in 2015.

Ko did not compete in the Nexen Masters this year as she participated in the LPGA Chevron Championship in Texas, but among 120 golfers, 2019 champion Lee Seung-yeon, 2018 champion Lee So-young and 2017 champion Kim Si-won were vying to become the first ever golfer to win the event twice.

None of the three former champions shone in this year’s tournament, however, with Lee Seung-yeon failing to make the cut, Lee So-young tying for 14th place finish with one-under-par, 215, and Kim Si-won tying for 12th place with two-under-par, 214.

KLPGA veteran Lee Joo-mi, who won the Mediheal-Hankook Ilbo Championship one week ago, also competed to take her second KLPGA title, but failed to make the cut.

The three KLPGA events so far this year have all gone to winners taking their first ever KLPGA title.

Lee Ye-won won the Lotte Rent-a-Car Women’s Open on April 9, while Lee Joo-mi won the Mediheal Championship last week and Choi also taking her first title this week.

The KLPGA tour will continue on Thursday at the 45th Creas F&C KLPGA Championship at the Lakewood Country Club in Yangju, Gyeonggi.


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