Baek emerges from 3-way playoff in South Korea|
Incheon, South Korea (SportsNetwork.com) - In her first appearance on the
LPGA Tour, Kyu Jung Baek birdied the first playoff on Sunday to defeat fellow
South Korean In Gee Chun and American Brittany Lincicome to win the LPGA KEB -
Baek, who was tied for the lead with Hee-Kyung Bae at the start of the final
round, fired a 5-under 67. Chun and Lincicome carded matching, 6-under 66s to
finish regulation tied with Baek at 10-under-par 278. The win is Baek's first
"So coming into the championship, my goal was to get in the top 10, but after
a really solid third round yesterday, my goal this morning was to get into the
top five," Baek said. "But I have to say I guess I was a little bit more
conscious because of winning because I was so nervous this morning, I kind of
Five-time major champion Inbee Park, another South Korea native, shot a 67 en
route to a 9-under 279 and she finished alone in fourth. U.S. Open champion
Michelle Wie, making her first start since withdrawing from her last two
events due to a hand injury, also carded a 67 along with Catriona Matthew. Wie
and Matthew finished tied for fifth at 8-under 280.
Hyo Joo Kim, who was another one of five South Koreans to finish inside the
top 10, ended alone in seventh at minus-7 following a final-round 66. Bae shot
an even-par 72 and she finished tied for 12th at 5-under 283 on the Ocean
Course at Sky 72 Golf Club.
Baek, playing in the final group with Bae and Park, did not get off to the
fastest start. After three straight pars to open the round, Baek drained her
first birdie on No. 4. That gain was erased two holes later when Baek tripped
to her first bogey on No. 6. She finished the front nine with three more pars,
making the turn at even par for the day.
Following another par on 10, Baek came up huge when she ripped off five
straight birdies from No. 11, getting her to minus-10 for the week. Three
straight pars from No. 16 finished off Baek's round as she joined Chun and
Lincicome atop the leaderboard.
"Going into the final nine, my goal was to come into the top five and so I
really concentrated every hole and I started making birdies," said Baek. "It
all started to kind of work for me from then on."
Playing in the penultimate group, Chun made her move early when she poured in
back-to-back birdies on one and two. After four straight pars from No. 3, Chun
closed out her front nine with two birdies on seven and nine to go along with
a par on eight.
Chun did not slow down on the back nine either as she made birdies on 11 and
13, getting her to minus-10. Chun's first and only bogey on No. 14 was a
slight hiccup, but she responded right away with her seventh birdie of the day
on No. 15. Chun closed things out with three straight pars to join Lincicome
in the clubhouse with the lead.
Lincicome, who finished runner-up at this year's Wegmans LPGA Championship
after falling to Park in a playoff, went bogey free in her round. Playing in
the fourth-to-last group, Lincicome birdied the second, fifth and eighth as
she made the turn at 7-under.
Two more birdies on 11 and 13 got Lincicome to minus-9. She slowed down a bit
with four straight pars from 14, but a giant birdie on the last proved to be
important as it put Lincicome in the clubhouse lead at the time. Chun and Baek
joined her atop the leaderboard later.
"Yesterday obviously I left a few out there. I played so good today, hit so
many good shots, especially coming in," Lincicome said. "A couple shots where
I felt like it was going to be like right in the hole and came up short or
something. Maybe just wasn't my day. But I think I shot 6-under today,
obviously was a pretty darned good day just to get myself into contention.
Can't be too sad."
The trio of players returned to the par-5 18th for the first playoff hole,
where Baek made a birdie to claim her victory.
NOTES: This was the third event Chun has played on the LPGA Tour. She finished
tied for 28th at this event last year ... Lincicome has now finished in the
top 10 in four of her last five events ... Baek earned $300,000 with this
victory ... The LPGA Tour remains in Asia again next week as it heads to China
for the Blue Bay LPGA, which is a new event on tour.
10/19 09:44:43 ET