South Korea’s Mi-Jeong Jeon has spent her career on the JLPGA amassing a collection of winner’s trophies; 16 heading into the final event and Major of the 2011 Japan LPGA season. But noticeably absent was a trophy this season. She took care of that slight blemish with a 1-under 71 final round to complete the 2011 JLPGA Tour Championship Ricoh Cup at 8-under. It was good enough for a 2 shot victory over fellow Korean Bo Bae Song.
MJJ had anything but a routine 1-under round. Rather, she rode the birdie-bogey rollercoaster as she opened with a bogey on the par 4 1st hole only to birdie the par 5 2nd. She repeated this on the par 4 3rd and 4th with another bogey-birdie combination. She would go out in even par 36. Meanwhile, Bo Bae Song couldn’t make up ground on the front side as she was clean, but had no birdies to match MJJ at 36. MJJ’s 3 shot lead over Song was intact at the turn. Bo Bae would make a run on the back 9 with birdies on 13 and 16, but it was too little, too late. MJJ also birdied 13, only to turn around and bogey 14. Song’s birdie on 16 drew her within 1 shot of MJJ, but Jeon responded like the champion she is, birdying 17 to extend to hold on for a 2 shot victory.
Mi-Jeong Jeon and Bo Bae Song were not the only South Koreans having great days on Sunday, as Sun Ju Ahn won her second straight JLPGA Player of the Year award. She also once again topped the JLPGA money list. Ahn joined the JLPGA last year after a great run on the KLPGA, where she won 7 times from 2006 thru 2009. Since joining the JLPGA in 2010, she has won 8 times, 4 times each season, including a Major this year at the Salonpas Cup.
BO BAE SONG