SPORTS

Koreans' charge falls short at LPGA season's final major

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 18, 2017 - 09:39
  • Updated : Sept 18, 2017 - 09:39
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France -- South Korean contenders' charge fell short at the LPGA Tour's final major championship of the season here on Sunday.

Kim Sei-young was the top finisher from the South Korean contingent at the weather-shortened Evian Championship at par-71 Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France, where she tied for sixth at seven-under 206. Kim ended two strokes out of the playoff between Brittany Altomare and Anna Nordqvist.

Nordqvist beat Altomare with a bogey on the first playoff hole, the par-four 18th, to claim her second career major title.

Kim had five of her six birdies on the back nine en route to shooting a 68 on Sunday. She could well have joined the playoff if not for the double bogey at the par-four 10th.
 
In this Associated Press photo, Kim In-kyung of South Korea watches her shot at the fourth hole during the final round of the Evian Championship on the LPGA Tour in Evian-les-Bains, France, on Sept. 17, 2017. (Yonhap)

Kim In-kyung and Park Sung-hyun, who have each won a major earlier this year, began the final round tied at six-under, three behind the leader, Moriya Jutanugarn. But inconsistent plays cost both a chance at picking up another major trophy.

Kim had two birdies and a bogey on the front nine to stay in the hunt, but a double bogey at the par-four 11th and a bogey at the par-five 13th dropped her out of contention. She closed out her final round with a bogey at the par-four 18th for a 73, and finished at four-under 209, good for a three-way tie in 10th place.

Park, the money leader and a virtual lock to win the Rookie of the Year, had an even more adventurous day. After trading in a bogey with a birdie on the front nine, Park went bogey-birdie-double bogey-bogey-bogey over her first five holes on the back nine to fall to two-under for the championship.

Park had another double bogey at the par-four 17th en route to a 77 on Sunday. She finished the tournament tied for 26th at even-par 213.

This was the fifth and last major tournament of the 2017 LPGA season. South Korea had produced champions at three of the first four majors, with Ryu So-yeon winning the ANA Inspiration in April and followed by Park Sung-hyun at the US Women's Open in July and Kim In-kyung at the Ricoh Women's British Open in August.

In 2017, South Koreans have combined to win 13 out of 26 LPGA events, with seven tournaments remaining.

South Koreans haven't won on the LPGA Tour in three straight weeks, the longest drought of the season.

The first round was wiped out on Thursday after heavy downpours, forcing the tournament to be shortened to 54 holes. (Yonhap)