In-Gee Chun Wins 2015 Japan Women’s Open, Second JLPGA Major Victory Of The Season

In-Gee Chun (click to enlarge)

With the way players hop from tour to tour these days, going wherever there is prizemoney to be won, maybe the four Major women’s golf tours (LPGA, LET, JLPGA, KLPGA) should hand out a Global Player of the Year award. It would honor whichever player had the greatest success tour-hopping in a calendar year. If such an award existed…actually, I’m not certain that it doesn’t exist, I might just not be aware of its existence…then 2015’s Global Player of the Year, in my humble opinion, would be In-Gee Chun. She had already made her first victory on the KLPGA a Major back in 2013, the Korea Women’s Open, when she duplicated that achievement on the JLPGA in May 2015 as she made her first victory on the Japanese tour a Major, the 2015 Salonpas Cup. In-Gee would make it a three-time achievement in July by making her first LPGA victory the greatest test in women’s golf, the US Women’s Open. Two weeks later, she would add another KLPGA Major victory at the 2015 Hite Jinro Championship. By the way, that was her 4th KLPGA title of the season. And if all of that were not enough of a case for Chun as my mythical Global Player of the Year, she now has won her 2nd JLPGA Major of the Year at arguably that tour’s greatest event, the Japan Women’s Open. In American Football, there is a Hall of Famer named Cris Carter of whom it was said, hyperbolically, all he does is score touchdowns. In the same vein, I feel like saying of In-Gee Chun, again not literally, all she does is win Majors. Like Cris Carter, In-Gee does more than what that description of her says, but it gives an idea of how great she excels at doing that one…in this case, pretty amazing…thing. It wasn’t as easy win for In-Gee Chun. Like the US Women’s Open, the Japan Women’s Open tested the skills and wills of the field with the course and the elements. After 4 rounds were in the books, only Mi Hyang Lee, Erika Kikuchi and In-Gee were under par, all tied at 2-under. It took a 4-hole playoff, but in the end In-Gee took home top honors and the 24 million Japanese Yen (about $200,000 USD) winner’s share.

So Yeon Ryu (click to enlarge)

There were familiar names to LPGA fans in America competing such as So Yeon Ryu and Shanshan Feng.  Ryu tied for 14th with another one of my favorites, Ha Neul Kim. But how So Yeon arrived in 14th was admittedly disappointing. She was in solo 3rd at 2-under after the first three rounds, only 2 shots behind overnight leader Erika Kikuchi. In fact, Ryu was 1 shot ahead of eventual champion In-Gee Chun. But she plummeted from the top of the leaderboard with a final round 78. Just an even par round would have put So Yeon into the playoff. Teresa Lu looked to be gaining some ground on JLPGA stats queen Bo-Mee Lee, but after Lu missed the cut and Lee finished tied for 4th, it appears it would take a massive surge  by Teresa combined with an utter collapse by Bo-Mee for Lee not to win JLPGA Player of the Year. However, there are more tournaments to be played, including another Major…and I haven’t done the math on the points…so maybe the race is not yet over. Before getting on the to the photos, I have to give respect to amateur Minami Katsu, who continues to shine with a tie for 11th. Minami has emerged as a potential future champion on the JLPGA. I’m following her progress with great interest.

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

1 IN-GEE CHUN (-2)

with low amateur, Minami Katsu

T2 MI HYANG LEE (-2)

T2 ERIKA KIKUCHI (-2)

T4 BO-MEE LEE (E)

T4 ASUKA KASHIWABARA (E)

A FEW OTHER NOTABLES:

T6 MI-JEONG JEON (+2)

T6 SHANSHAN FENG (+2)

T6 KOTONO KOZUMA (+2)

T11 MINAMI KATSU, low amateur (+3)

T11 AYAKA WATANABE (+3)

RANK PLAYER SCORE TOTAL 1R 2R 3R 4R PRIZE
優勝 In-Gee Chun -2 286 71 73 71 71 ¥28,000,000
2T Mi Hyang Lee -2 286 71 72 73 70 ¥13,090,000
2T Erika Kikuchi -2 286 72 73 67 74 ¥13,090,000
4T Bo-Mee Lee 0 288 74 69 74 71 ¥6,440,000
4T Asuka Kashiwabara 0 288 71 70 72 75 ¥6,440,000
6T Ji-Hee Lee +2 290 73 71 75 71 ¥3,696,000
6T Shan-Shan Feng +2 290 75 70 74 71 ¥3,696,000
6T Mi-Jeong Jeon +2 290 76 71 72 71 ¥3,696,000
6T Shiho Oyama +2 290 76 72 71 71 ¥3,696,000
6T Kotono Kozuma +2 290 72 70 73 75 ¥3,696,000
11T @Minami Katsu +3 291 75 71 73 72 ¥0
11T Ayaka Watanabe +3 291 76 71 72 72 ¥2,331,000
11T Sun-Ju Ahn +3 291 70 73 75 73 ¥2,331,000
14T Ha-Neul Kim +4 292 74 74 73 71 ¥1,841,000
14T So Yeon Ryu +4 292 68 72 74 78 ¥1,841,000
16T Hee-Kyung Bae +5 293 74 72 73 74 ¥1,596,000
16T Maiko Wakabayashi +5 293 72 74 73 74 ¥1,596,000
18T Kyu-Jung Baek +7 295 77 73 76 69 ¥1,309,000
18T @Kana Nagai +7 295 74 73 76 72 ¥0
18T @Yumi Matsubara +7 295 77 73 73 72 ¥0
18T O Sattaya +7 295 75 71 75 74 ¥1,309,000
18T Shoko Sasaki +7 295 72 71 76 76 ¥1,309,000
18T Hyo-Joo Kim +7 295 77 70 72 76 ¥1,309,000
18T Erina Hara +7 295 73 72 73 77 ¥1,309,000
18T Kotone Hori +7 295 72 73 72 78 ¥1,309,000
26T Jia-Yun Li +8 296 77 72 78 69 ¥1,092,000
26T Saiki Fujita +8 296 75 69 77 75 ¥1,092,000
26T Ai Suzuki +8 296 70 76 75 75 ¥1,092,000
26T Miki Sakai +8 296 77 71 73 75 ¥1,092,000
26T Eri Joma +8 296 74 70 75 77 ¥1,092,000
31T Yumiko Yoshida +9 297 73 73 82 69 ¥945,000
31T @Mone Inami +9 297 77 72 75 73 ¥0
31T @Hina Arakaki +9 297 71 72 80 74 ¥0
31T Yukari Baba +9 297 74 74 75 74 ¥945,000
31T Ritsuko Ryu +9 297 74 73 75 75 ¥945,000
31T Mayu Hattori +9 297 76 74 72 75 ¥945,000
31T Junko Omote +9 297 73 73 75 76 ¥945,000
31T Esther Lee +9 297 76 72 73 76 ¥945,000
39T Ji-Yai Shin +10 298 77 72 76 73 ¥875,000
39T Momoko Ueda +10 298 75 75 72 76 ¥875,000
41T Yuri Fudoh +11 299 74 74 78 73 ¥819,000
41T Mami Fukuda +11 299 75 73 78 73 ¥819,000
41T Jae-Eun Chung +11 299 74 74 77 74 ¥819,000
41T Kumiko Kaneda +11 299 76 75 72 76 ¥819,000
41T Na-Ri Lee +11 299 77 71 74 77 ¥819,000
41T Misuzu Narita +11 299 75 72 72 80 ¥819,000
47T Mika Miyazato +12 300 79 71 76 74 ¥735,000
47T Akane Iijima +12 300 74 72 79 75 ¥735,000
47T Sakura Yokomine +12 300 73 75 77 75 ¥735,000
47T Asako Fujimoto +12 300 76 71 77 76 ¥735,000
47T Miho Mori +12 300 76 73 74 77 ¥735,000
47T Haruka Kudo +12 300 73 73 75 79 ¥735,000
53T Hikari Fujita +13 301 76 75 77 73 ¥679,000
53T Yuko Mitsuka +13 301 73 75 77 76 ¥679,000
55 @Suzuka Yamaguchi +15 303 76 74 78 75 ¥0
56T Kaori Ohe +17 305 75 75 81 74 ¥651,000
56T Mei Takagi +17 305 76 70 84 75 ¥651,000
58 Rui Kitada +18 306 77 74 76 79 ¥630,000
59 Yasuko Satoh +19 307 76 74 80 77 ¥616,000
60T @Riri Sadoyama +20 308 76 73 85 74 ¥0
60T Eri Fukuyama +20 308 75 76 80 77 ¥602,000
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