Eun-Hee Ji Captures Fifth Career Win At Diamond Resorts Tournament Of Champions


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Eun-Hee Ji of South Korea left the mistakes to everyone else down the stretch in the LPGA Tour season opener.


Ji managed a strong wind and temperatures in the 50s on Sunday by making three birdies on the back nine to pull away and close with a 1-under 70, giving her a two-shot victory in the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.




Eun-Hee Ji of South Korea/lpga


 

지은희, LPGA 다이아몬드 리조트 토너먼트 오브 챔피언스 정상 올라


14언더파 270타

통산 5승


이미림 2위 

33살 한국선수 LPGA 최고령...박세리 기록 갈아치워


   지은희가 LPGA 투어 2019시즌 개막전인 다이아몬드 리조트 토너먼트 오브 챔피언스에서 정상에 올랐다.


200야드 가까운 긴 파3 18번 홀 티샷을 앞둔 지은희(33)는 2타 차 선두를 달리고 있었지만 표정에는 여전히 긴장감이 남아 있었다. 티샷이 그린에 안착하자 지은희의 얼굴에는 비로소 안도의 미소가 번졌다.




20일(현지 시각) 미국 플로리다주 레이크 부에나 비스타의 포시즌 리조트 내 트란퀼로 골프장(파71)에서 열린 미국여자프로골프(LPGA) 투어 다이아몬드 리조트 토너먼트 오브 챔피언스 최종 4라운드.


지은희는 이날 버디 5개와 보기 4개를 묶어 1언더파를 보탰다. 최종 합계 14언더파 270타를 적어낸 지은희는 이미림(30·12언더파)을 2타 차로 따돌리고 정상에 올랐다. 올 시즌 개막전인 이번 대회에서 우승한 지은희는 지난해 3월 KIA클래식 이후 10개월 만에 승수를 추가했다. 통산 5승째다.


1986년 5월생으로 올해 32세8개월이 된 지은희는 이번 우승으로 한국 선수 최고령 우승 기록도 갈아 치웠다. 종전 기록은 2010년 당시 박세리(43)가 벨마이크로 클래식에서 우승할 때 세웠던 32세7개월18일이었다. 


지은희는 마지막 홀에서 우승을 확정한 후 가볍게 손을 들어 갤러리들에게 인사를 한 뒤 동료 들과 포옹을 나누며 기뻐했다. 지은희는 "이번 대회 기간 내내 즐겁게 경기를 했다. 우승까지 해서 기쁘다"고 했다. 



지은희는 2009년 US여자오픈에서 정상에 오른 이후 한동안 우승과 인연을 맺지 못했다. 그러나 30세가 된 2017년 스윙잉 스커츠 LPGA 타이완 챔피언십에서 우승한 데 이어 지난해 KIA클래식에서 1승을 추가했고 올해는 개막전에서 우승하며 3년 연속 우승행진을 이어가고 있다. 상당수 한국 선수들이 20대 중반이 되면 탈진 현상을 보이며 제 기량을 발휘하지 못하는 것과 달리 지은희는 오히려 30대 들어 제2의 전성기를 맞고 있다. 지은희는 "오랫동안 우승하지 못할때도 그만두고 싶다는 생각을 해본적이 없다"며 "오래도록 좋아하는 골프를 계속할 것"이라고 했다. 

민학수 기자

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출처 : http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2019/01/21/2019012100402.html

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Ji got her mistakes out of the way early, opening with two bogeys to fall behind Lydia Ko. The 32-year-old South Korean took the lead for good with a birdie on the 10th hole at Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons, and she stayed in front the rest of the way.


"It was a little bit chilly for me today. My body was a little bit tight on first tee, so I just pulled a little bit, and I made a bogey," she said. "I made a bogey again second hole. I was like, 'OK, wait a minute. I need to play this.' But I have like 16 more holes, and I just trust my swing after that."


lpga

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Ko was one shot behind when she pulled her tee shot on the par-5 13th and never found it, and then compounded the error with a three-putt for a double bogey. Ko made double bogey on the closing hole for a 42 on the back nine and a 77.




Ji finished at 14-under 270 to win by two over Mirim Lee, who made only one bogey in her round of 68. Nelly Korda (71) finished third.


"I just enjoyed my game with my celebrity partners," Ji said. "It makes it more fun and I relaxed more. So I didn't get nervous."


The LPGA opener was limited to winners over the last two seasons. It also included a celebrity field of athletes and entertainers who competed for a $500,000 purse using the modified Stableford scoring system.


Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz had 33 points in the final round for a three-point victory over former pitcher Mark Mulder. Smoltz was busy doing math with the Stableford system, trying to hold on for the victory.




"I played really defensively knowing I could get two points for par," Smoltz said. "I never thought the bogey I made at 17 would be the difference."


Stacy Lewis, in her first competition as a mother, shot 70 and tied for sixth.


Ariya Jutanugarn, the No. 1 player in women's golf who captured every major award last year, went into the weekend two shots out of the lead and closed with a pair of 75s to tie for 18th. Her sister, Moriya Jutanugarn, managed a bogey-free round for a 69 to tie for fourth with Shanshan Feng (70).


Eun-Hee Ji/LPGA.com

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Ko says her problems on the 13th started with thinking she had to hammer her tee shot.


No one could find it in the marsh area left of the fairway, though Ko was at least consoled to see "like a million balls in there, so it makes me feel better that I wasn't the only one that hit there."




She hit another tee shot and easily carried the bunker, and then hit a stock 3-wood onto the green.


"I was like, 'Well, that was stupid.' Because I could have just hit a normal driver, and I probably wouldn't have duck-hooked it and it would still be able to be in play," Ko said. "I guess there's moments I thought it was necessary, but then it wasn't. But, hey, you're always going to have some of these failures along the way."


The LPGA is now off for two weeks before resuming in Australia for the Vic Open. The tour returns to the United States on March 21-24 for the Founders Cup in Arizona.

http://www.lpga.com/news/2019-ji-wins-inaugural-diamond-resort-toc




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