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Pros Chun In-gee and Lydia Ko face off

Both have won the Evian Championship, which starts today
Sept 14,2017
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From left: Chun In-gee after winning the Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club in France in 2016. Lydia Ko after her victory in 2015. [JOONGANG PHOTO]
Chun In-gee and Lydia Ko are ready for the last major tournament of the LPGA Tour season, both having yet to win a tournament this season - but since Chun won the upcoming Evian Championship last year and Ko won it in 2015, it’s hard to say who will take home the prize this time.

“My memories from last year’s Evian Championship are still vivid,” Chun was quoted as saying on the LPGA website.

Chun had five runner-up finishes this season, while Ko had two. As a result, Ko lost her top spot in the World ranking, which she had kept for 85 consecutive weeks. She is now ranked eighth.

“Scores are important in golf but it is important for me to have a happy season,” Chun was quoted as saying on the LPGA website. “I see these scores as variables in solving my equation to achieve a happy season and I look forward to the rest of the season.”

Looking at their performances at the Evian Championship, both players have left their marks. When Ko won it in 2015 with a score of 16 under par, not only did she win the tournament six shots ahead of the runner-up, she also became the youngest female golfer at age 18 to win a major title.

And in the following year, when Chun won it in 2016 with a total score of 21 under par, her score was good enough to be the lowest major tournament score for either men or women. Chun’s record was even more impressive, though, as the course was soaked in rain.

“My shots went in the direction I wanted and my putter felt great that week,” Chun was quoted as saying. “During the four days of the tournament, everything worked out beyond my expectations.”

Recently, Chun had back-to-back runner-up finishes at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open and Cambia Portland Classic presented by JTBC. And Ko, for the first time in three months, recorded a top-ten finish at an LPGA Tour event at the Indy Women In Tech Championship presented by Guggenheim on Sunday.

Korean golfers have historically played well at the Evian Championship, as the course, with its severe slopes and tight fairways, is similar to courses in Korea. In the past five years, three of the Evian Championships have been won by a Korean.

Aside from the top ranked golfers, Choi Hye-jin, who finished runner-up at the U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur, will make her appearance this weekend as a professional.

This season, Ryu So-yeon won the ANA Inspiration, Park won the U.S. Women’s Open and Kim In-kyung won the Richoh Women’s British Open. Of all the Korean golfers, Park In-bee will be absent this season, due to an injury.

The first round of the Evian Championship will air live on JTBC Golf Channel today, starting at 6 p.m.

BY KIM JI-HAN [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]