Lee Da-yeon (26, Mediheal) shook her fist as soon as the birdie putt, which was about 4m away from the 15th hole (par 5), was sucked into the hole. It was the scene where Lee Da-yeon announced the return of the ‘major queen’ as she took the lead alone, overcoming the pursuit of ‘scary newcomer’ Bang Sin-sil (19).
Lee Da-yeon finished at Lakewood CC (par 72) in Yangju, Gyeonggi-do on the 30th, and scored a total of 13 under par for four days at the 45th KLPGA Championship (total prize money of 1.3 billion won), the first major tournament of the KLPGA Tour season. 275 to win. Lee Da-yeon, who beat Ye-bin Son and Gyeol Park by 4 strokes for second place at 9 under par, won her 7th career victory and her third major championship in 1 year and 8 months after the Hanwha Classic in August 2021. Lee Da-yeon, who won her championship prize money of 234 million won, rose vertically to second place (271.65 million won) in the prize money rankings.
Lee Da-yeon, who is called a ‘little giant’ for hitting long hits of 250 to 260 yards at a meager height of 157cm, did not feel intimidated at all even in the championship competition with the tall 173cm Bang Shin-sil. Lee Da-yeon, who entered the final round with a two-stroke tie for the lead, made a bogey on hole 1 (par 5), but made up for it with a birdie on hole 2 (par 3). Bang Shin-sil, who started jointly in the lead side by side, missed a 3m par putt in hole 3 (par 4), and Lee Da-yeon, who took a lead by one stroke, kept the highest position on the leaderboard until the first half.
Lee Da-yeon and Bang Shin-sil recorded consecutive birdies side by side in the second half of the 10th hole (par 4) and 11th hole (par 5), and competed fiercely for the championship by one stroke. My two players were tied for the lead again. However, Lee Da-yeon calmly continued to play, and after successfully putting a 4m birdie putt on the 15th hole, she made 3 consecutive birdies up to the 17th hole (par 3) to put a wedge in the championship크크크벳. On this day, Lee Da-yeon hit a daily best tie of 4 under par 68.
Lee Da-yeon, who was on the operating table after suffering wrist and elbow injuries during last year’s season, made a comeback after 9 months at the Lotte Rent-a-Car Women’s Open, the opening match in Korea, in April this year. Lee Da-yeon, who announced a perfect revival by winning this tournament after finishing fifth at the Nexen Saint Nine Masters last week, said, “I thought I had to adapt and improve my performance until summer, but my performance improved faster than I thought.” Regarding the scene where he clenched his fist after a successful birdie putt on the 15th hole, he explained, “I putter really desperately and desperately, and in that sense, the expression seems to have come out a lot.”
Lee Da-yeon, who has accumulated 3 wins in major tournaments, tied for 6th place in the KLPGA Tour major tournament with the most wins, standing shoulder to shoulder with Seo Hee-kyung, Jeon In-ji, Park Min-ji, Kang Chun-ja, and Koo Ok-hee. Go Woo-soon (7 wins), Shin Ji-ae (5 wins), Kim Soon-mi, Jang Ha-na, and Kim Hyo-joo (4 wins) are ahead of Lee Da-yeon. Regarding the secret to being strong in major competitions, Lee Da-yeon said, “I think earnestness is the biggest,” and “I will continue to challenge myself to win the remaining two major tournaments.”
Park Gyeol, who started with a two-stroke tie for third place, reduced two strokes that day to be tied for second place (9 under par) with Son Ye-bin. Bang Shin-sil, who competed for the championship in a joint lead with Lee Da-yeon until the 14th hole, lost one stroke by missing short par putts in succession in holes 15 and 16 (par 4), and tied for 4th place (8 under par). has been pushed Lee So-young, who played in the championship group, also finished tied for 4th as she only reduced one stroke that day. Defending champion Kim A-rim finished the tournament with a tie for 22nd (2 under par), and Park Min-ji, who won 6 wins each for two consecutive years until last year, tied for 28th (1 under par).