After four days of weather-interrupted golf in Dongguan, South Korea once again cemented their dominance in women’s golf by winning both the team and individual events at the World Ladies Championship for the third straight year. A picture of perfect calm throughout the tournament,World No.35 Lee Jung-Min of South Korea stormed to her eighth career title with a one stroke victory over compatriots Lee Seung-Hyun, Kim Bo-Kyung and Ji Han Sol. Despite dropping two strokes in the last three holes, eight birdies in a final round 66 was just enough for Lee to hold on as her closest challengers all blew their chances in damp and testing conditions on the Olazabal Course. It was a nerve biting finish as the clubhouse leader Lee dropped into a three-way share of the lead with namesake Lee and Ji at nine-under-par after making bogey on the final hole. She then watched as Lee then made the same mistake.
There was double cause for celebration as Lee also won the concurrent team competition with partner Ko Jin-Young. An aggregate score of 12-under-par put the South Korean pair 15 strokes ahead of the French duo Gwladys Nocera and Céline Herbin, with Chinese Taipei duo Lin Tzi-Chi and Kuo Ai-Chen five strokes further behind in third.
“I was very surprised to win because I didn’t feel that I played my best and I wasn’t in the leading group,” said Lee, 24, who earned three titles on the Korean LPGA Tour in 2015, having turned professional in 2009. “My main goal this year is to get my best ever score on the KLPGA Tour.”
This was the first edition of the World Ladies Championship to be sanctioned by the Korean LPGA Tour as well as the Ladies European Tour and China LPGA and resulted in nine KLPGA players in the top 12 places in total. It was the first time the competition had been held in Dongguan.