Chun In Gee becomes 8th US Women’s Open champ of Korean descent

July 12, 2015
South Korea's Chun In Gee kisses the championship trophy after winning the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament at Lancaster Country Club, Sunday, July 12, 2015 in Lancaster, Pa. Chun won by one stroke over second place finisher Amy Yang. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

South Korea’s Chun In Gee kisses the championship trophy after winning the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament at Lancaster Country Club, Sunday, July 12, 2015 in Lancaster, Pa. Chun won by one stroke over second place finisher Amy Yang. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Chun In Gee became the eighth golfer of South Korean descent to win the U.S. Women’s Open on Sunday.

The 20-year-old stormed from behind, posting birdies on four of the last seven holes to rally for an unlikely one-stroke victory over Amy Yang at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania.

Chun shot a 4-under 66 in the final round and finished at 8 under to become the first player to win her U.S. Open debut since Birdie Kim in 2005.

Chun is the eighth golfer of Korean descent to win the U.S. Women’s Open after Pak Se Ri (1998), Birdie Kim (2005), Park Inbee (2008 and 2013), Ji Eun-hee (2009), Ryu So-yeon (2011), Choi Na-yeon (2012) and Michelle Wie (2014).

Chun is a full-time member of the Korean LPGA Tour and is currently leading the domestic circuit in money. She turned pro in 2012 and has seven wins on the Korean tour, including three in 2015. She also has a win on the Japanese LPGA Tour this year, becoming the first South Korean since Shin Ji-yai in 2008 to win on all three tours in the same year.

As a non-member, Chun has made five starts on the LPGA Tour in 2015 and has made cuts in all five, with $842,075 in earnings. 

Third-round leader Amy Yang struggled in the middle of her round and then pulled within one by going eagle-birdie at Nos. 16 and 17. But she bogeyed the 18th and fell a stroke short.

Playing in the final group on the last day of the championship for the third time in four years, Yang squandered a three-stroke lead and settled for a 1-over 71 and second at 273.

Two-time champion and top-ranked Park Inbee (67) overcame putting woes and rallied late, tying for third with Stacy Lewis (70) at 5-under 275. Lewis was three back at the start of the round.

Defending champion Michelle Wie battled hip and leg injuries and limped in with an even-par 70, placing 11th at 2-under 278.

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**AP and Yonhap materials were used in this article.

 

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