The slump was long, her age was approaching her mid-30s, and she was injured. Yang Hee-young, 34, who was once a member of the “Taeguk Nangja Corps,” faded from public memory.
But she didn’t give up. She worked tirelessly to find her old form, bounced back from several setbacks on the brink of victory, and announced her “second prime” by winning the season finale of the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour without a major sponsor and wearing a “civilian hat”.
Hee-young Yang added six more shots in the final four rounds of the LPGA Tour’s season-ending CME Group Tour Championship ($7 million purse) at Tiburon Golf Club Gold Course (Par 72) in Naples, Florida (U.S.) on Tuesday (July 20) to win with a final score of 27-under-par 261.
The season-ending tournament, the highest-paying event in women’s golf, featured some of the best performances of the season, including Lilia Boo (USA), Yin Lunying (CHN), Celine Boutier (FRA), Athaya Thittitjer (THA), Nelly Koda (USA), Jin Jin Ko (28-SOLAR) and Hyo Joo Kim (28-LOTTE).
It wasn’t easy to predict Yang’s victory in this tournament, as she had been out of the game for a while.
Yang, who made her LPGA Tour debut in 2008 after playing on the European Tour in 2006, was a veteran with four wins on the tour. She won the KEB-Hana Bank Championship in Korea in 2013, and went on to win the Honda Thailand in 2015, 2017, and 2019.
While he may not have the explosiveness of other Korean players, Yang has been a consistent performer. Although she didn’t win a title on the mainland, she had several top-10 finishes at majors.
Then, in 2020, she began to falter. That year, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, and Yang had to accept a less-than-stellar season on the LPGA Tour, where she didn’t have a single top-10 finish.
In 2021, she rebounded with five top-10s, but still no wins. Her streak of wins in odd-numbered years, dating back to 2013, was also broken.
Last year was the toughest year of my career. Not only did I not perform well, but I was also injured. I was so immersed in rock climbing, my hobby for a while, that I was diagnosed with “tennis elbow” in my left elbow (pain around the elbow joint caused by excessive force on the arm joint and wrist). He thought it could be the end of his career.
In a turn of events that no one could have predicted, Yang turned her season around. It started with a tie for fourth place at the Chevron Championship in April, her first major. Although she hasn’t been as consistent as she once was, she has been in contention for several top-five finishes, including the Meyer Classic in June (tied for third), the AI Women’s Open in August (tied for fourth), and the Anika Driven in November (tied for fourth).
Recently, however, she had to prepare for the tournament alone due to the expiration of her contract with main sponsor Woori Financial Group. That’s why she wore a plaid hat.
And the season finale. Hee-young Yang exploded. She opened with a 4-under-par first round, followed by a 9-under-par second round and an 8-under-par third round. It was as if the feeling she had in her 20s had returned. “I’m feeling the ball so well,” he said.
In the final round, she got lucky. While battling for the lead with Nasa Hataoka (JPN), he made a “shot eagle” on the 13th (par-4) hole. The eagle catapulted Yang from a one-stroke deficit to a one-stroke lead, and she seized the opportunity to take home the trophy. It was a spectacular finale as she took home $2 million (approximately $2.593 billion), the largest prize in women’s golf history. 아톰카지노 주소
It was also Yang’s first LPGA victory on the U.S. mainland. It had been 15 years and 16 seasons since she stepped onto the American stage in 2008. She realized the dream she had longed for, but never achieved, when she needed it most.
“It means a lot,” Yang said after the match. I want to say thank you to the people who waited for me to win,” she said, adding, “I’ve always dreamed of winning my first title in the United States, and it’s a great honor to do it on this stage.”