PGA Women’s Championship: Chun In-gi takes third place in major

The South Korean, ranked 33rd in the world, was in the lead thanks to record first round at the Congressional Country Club, setting a new course record before extending his lead to six strokes at the midterm on Friday.
Nonetheless weekends saw the 27-year-old’s lead dwindle to three ahead of Sunday’s championship start, where she ended up behind Lexie Thompson three holes from close. Finishing the first round 10 shots behind Chun, the American maintained a two-shot lead with seven holes to play.

Frightened four times by a failed top nine, Chun admitted that the pressure of fighting for her first major in six years was taking its toll on her.

“I want to tell the truth, I couldn’t control all my pressure,” she told reporters.

“I think if I stick to my game plan, I’ll have a chance in the top nine, so I try to stay there.”

Chun plays his shot from the 18th tee.

And she held on as Chun rallied with five pair and a deciding bird in 16th through the last six holes to end the day with three points and five fewer overall.

Meanwhile, Thompson hit three bogeys through her closing five holes to see her title control slip in death as she finished one stroke short of Chun, level with Australia. Minji Lee per second.

Champion of the US Women’s Open in 2015 and the Evian Championship a year later, this win marks the end of a four-year winless streak for Chun, whose most recent LPGA Tour victory came at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship in October 2018.

In addition, she’s claiming $1.35 million from the PGA Women’s Championship record purse of $9 million, with prize money doubling from last year’s event.

Chun celebrates by hitting par on the 18th green.

“I’ve always said my depression is going away”

At an emotional press conference, Chun reflected on the culmination of a difficult four-year journey, during which she said some called for retirement.

“When I had a slump, some people said, ‘Ying-ee-ee, you should retire because your game is not very good right now,’” she said.

“But no matter what they say, I believe that I can win again. Now I’m so proud.”

In a conversation with her older sister last week, Chun admitted that, while struggling to “see the target”, she was thinking about leaving the US. However, when her sister encouraged her to quit golf in order to prioritize for herself, Chun realized she wasn’t ready to leave.

“I think this win feels really special because I’ve always said my depression was going away,” Chun said.

“I really cried [talking to her sister] … When I heard what she said, I believed that I still had the spirit, I still wanted to play golf.

“I am so happy that I won after everything that happened. I just want to keep saying, “I’m so proud of myself.”

“That’s why I want to continue to thank everyone who believed in me and never gave up on me.”

Haotong Li overwhelmed with emotion after four-year winless drought at BMW International Open ends

US Open champion Lee, who narrowly missed out on his second major tournament later that month, believes the victory will give Chan “a huge boost of confidence.”

Lee, who is in second place, hits from the 11th tee.

“I think she went through a few hardships here and there,” Lee told reporters.

“So I think she will be very, very happy and just grateful to everyone around her.”