In Gee Chun shot a final-round 66 to capture her first LPGA Tour title of the season at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship.
The 24-year-old South Korean native finished her final day at SKY72’s Ocean Course with seven birdies against just one bogey, en route to a three-stroke victory over 54-hole co-leader Charley Hull (71), who placed solo-second at 13-under par.
“Before this week, I won 13 times as a professional,” said Chun, who clinched the third LPGA win of her career. “I am glad that I am done with the No. 13. I really hate that number.”
Hull, seeking her second career win on the LPGA Tour, briefly closed to within two shots of Chun – with three to play, but bogeyed the par-4 16th to effectively end her chances.
“On 16, I hit a decent tee shot. Was in the drainage ditch and had to drop it in the first cut. Hit a really good pitching wedge to the green and couldn’t manage to hold it, and then it was a weird lie. I was in like a little bit of a divot on the 16th green and then chipped it and nearly holed the putt,” said Hull.
“Oh, well. I’m pretty happy with that result. But this week was a lot of fun. I’ve been playing pretty well so far this season. Had a bit of a quiet spell through like the Women’s British Open and stuff but I feel like my game is in really good condition right now.”
Danielle Kang, the other overnight co-leader, struggled to a 72 and was four shots off the pace at 12 under, alongside Sung Hyun Park (69), Minjee Lee (70), and Ariya Jutanugarn (71).
With her win, Chun earned $300,000, bringing her to $721,990 on the season, and $3,473,351 for her career.
LPGA KEB HANA BANK CHAMPIONSHIP
FINAL TOP 5
Pos-Player-To Par (Today)
1. In Gee Chun -16 (-6)
2. Charley Hull -13 (-1)
3. Sung Hyun Park -12 (-3)
3. Minjee Lee -12 (-2)
3. Ariya Jutanugarn -12 (-1)
3. Danielle Kang -12 (E)
EMOTIONAL VICTORY FOR CHUN
Fighting back tears after claiming her first win since 2016 The Evian Championship, Chun said that she’d had a difficult time dealing with negative comments about her form posted on social media.
“I was really frustrated with myself for responding or reacting to those comments online, and so I think that there was a factor there that pushed me down, and I didn’t want to get back up again,” said Chun.
“I was kind of scared because I didn’t know how I would act in front of people again, but then I didn’t want to act like somebody else. I always wanted to be true to myself and I wanted to be a genuine person.”
Chun also got emotional when discussing her family, especially how excited she was to share the victory with her ailing grandmother.
“My grandma, it used to be part of her daily life to watch me play,” said Chun, whose grandmother has been hospitalized for the past few months.
“I really, really wanted a win so I can tell her I won, and I wanted to tell her that I loved her. I’m really happy today that I was able to win and that I can tell her, and I’m sure that she’s happy for me at the hospital.”
Credit: LPGA Tour Communications