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KLPGA team finishes runner-up at Queens, after Japan

Dec 04,2017
The KLPGA Tour team finished runner-up, as they came up short of Japan at The Queens presented by Kowa in Japan on Sunday.

Despite Korea’s dominance on the first two days of the tournament, the team still lost.

Prior to the final day, Korea was well ahead in the lead among three other Tours with eight wins and one loss from single matches. Until the second day, Korea had twice as many points as Japan, earning 24 points from the first two days.

The foursome match, also known as an alternate shot, is a type of golf match where golfers compete on teams of two and take alternate shots throughout the round. Two points were awarded for a win while one point was given out for a tie and zero for a loss.

Korea got off to a shaky start with the first group, Lee Jeong-eun and Bae Seon-woo, losing three down against Ai Suzuki and Momoko Ueda of Japan. Suzuki and Ueda were dominant against the KLPGA’s top players, as they won six holes from the fourth to the 12th hole.

Lee and Bae made their attempt for a come-from-behind victory by winning the next three consecutive holes, but after they tied the 16th hole, the two of them failed to overcome the margin.

The second group, Kim Hae-rym and Kim Ji-hyun, wasn’t able to take the lead throughout the match. While they were losing by three with four holes remaining, the two gave themselves a chance for the KLPGA team to tie the lead by winning the next two holes. But by losing the 17th hole, Korea lost its second match, allowing JLPGA two additional points.

Ko Jin-young and Kim Char-young seemed to be the only group to win for the KLPGA team, but as Ritsuko Ryu made a seven-meter (22.9-foot) birdie putt and Kim Char-young missed a two-meter birdie putt on the 18th hole, the third group added the only point to the KLPGA team by playing the match all-square.

The final group, involving the other Kim Ji-hyun and Oh Ji-hyun, lost one down by making a par on the final hole.

“Our result today is a little disappointing, but we were a lot better than the players of other Tours up until yesterday,” said Kim Ha-neul, captain of the KLPGA Tour team. “Our players are weaker in foursome matches, so I think they felt some pressure.”

As the champion this weekend was determined based only on the scores from the final day, the foursome matches, Korea failed to defend their title, finishing with a record of one tie and three losses.

The Queens presented by Kowa is an annual tournament that began in 2015 between four of the women’s golf tour - the Ladies European Tour (LET), Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG), the JLPGA and the KLPGA Tour.

Entering its third year, Japan has won the most number of events, at two, and Korea has won it once, last year. With a runner-up finish, the KLPGA Tour team won a prize of 27 million yen ($240,840).

In the consolation match, the ALPG team finished third by defeated the LET team 5-3.

BY KANG YOO-RIM [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]