Lim ‘definitely bounced back’…4-under-par ‘blast’ in high winds
‘Desert Fox’ Lim Hee-jung is showing signs of resurgence.
Lim shot a 4-under 68 in the second round of the Korean Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour’s SK networks-Seoul Economic Ladies Classic (total prize money of 800 million won) at Finks Golf Club (Par 72) in Seogwipo, Jeju Island, on Sunday.
With a two-day total of 4-under-par 140, Lim jumped into a tie for second place, one shot behind leader Lee Chae-eun, and is poised to make a run at the title.
Lim, who was recognized as one of the top players on the KLPGA Tour last year with five wins, including two majors, has struggled this season due to the lingering effects of injury.
Her 29th place on the money list, 20th place on the Order of Merit, and 48th place in scoring average were not good enough for her.
But Im Hee-jung showed her resurgence at the Sangsang Inn-Korea Economic TV Open, which concluded on Nov. 22, by playing like her old self.
After shooting back-to-back rounds in the 60s in the second and third rounds to take a commanding lead, Lim finished runner-up in the final round, her best finish of the season.
Lim had five birdies and one bogey on the day, which was the best daily score on a day when very few players shot under par due to the strong winds.
The strong Jeju winds were blowing at Pinx Golf Club, where the tournament was held, with an average wind speed of 7 meters per second and a maximum gust of 11 meters per second.
In such winds, a top female professional with a heavy ball flight would have to hold two clubs more or less.
“It wasn’t easy because the wind was blowing really hard,” Lim said, “but my shots have been coming back since the last tournament, so I played the way I felt. Today, I easily made par and moved on,” she said with confidence.
She continued, “I had good shot feeling and good putt distance, so there were very few difficult holes. In the last tournament, I was fighting for the title and I had a cold, so I was very careful to replenish my stamina, but today’s easy game helped me to reduce my stamina.”
“The runner-up in the last tournament actually scored well even though she didn’t feel her shots fully,” he said.
“I don’t know yet. We’ll have to wait and see,” but after the second round, she smiled and said, “I feel like my shot feeling is good now because I can keep my arm longer when I hit the shot as I intended.”
In her fifth year of playing, Lim said she has gained some experience with the Jeju winds.
“I’m still not sure when I’m putting shots into the wind. On the fifth hole (with a strong crosswind), I hit it so wrong that I thought, ‘Is this right,'” Lim said. “But I’ve played the year before and the year before that, so I definitely recognize the windy holes and play them.”
Five days earlier, Im Jin-hee, who shot a 7-under-par final round to win the Sangsang Inn-Korea Economic TV Open by a stroke over Lim, was one stroke back in a tie for second.
If Im, who has professed her desire to win the grand prize and multiple titles, wins this tournament, she will close the gap on Lee Ye-won in the race for the grand prize and move into first place (fourth) in the multiple wins category.
Bae So-hyun, who shot a 2-under 70, and Choi Ye-rim, who shot a 1-under 71, are tied for second.
Lee, who shot an 8-under 64 on the first day to share the lead, struggled with the wind on the second day and shot a 3-over 75 to move into sole possession of the lead at 5-under 139.
Lee, who has yet to win since making her debut in 2019, entered the tournament ranked No. 60 on the money list, which is the cutoff for seeding next year.
Lee is not only looking to move up the money list to secure her seeding, but also to win her first career title.
“I didn’t expect to compete for the title,” said Lee, who had never led for two consecutive days. I’m nervous. I’m scared for the next two days,” she said, adding, “I’ll play the third and fourth rounds with the determination to win as much prize money as possible.”
He added, “The fact that I had a long club with a high trajectory was the reason why I didn’t lose too many strokes today.”
Lee, who was tied for the lead with Lee Chae-eun after the first round, faltered with a 9-over-par 81 and slipped to a tie for 19th (1-over-par 145).
Lee Ye-won, the tournament leader in money, grand prize and stroke average, also dropped five strokes and slipped to a tie for 19th place with Lee.
Lee made a quadruple bogey on the par-3 fifth hole.
Park Ji-young, who is battling with Lee and Im for her fourth win of the season, also enters the third round in a tie for 19th place.
Defending champion So Mi Lee narrowly missed the cut after shooting a 4-over-par 76 to finish tied for 47th (5-over-par 149).
Lee also made the cut after shooting a 6-over-par 150 on the day. 스포츠토토