KLPGA Queen Lee Yewon Reigns Supreme in Blue Canyon Ladies Championship


Lee Yewon proved why she  claimed the KLPGA throne last year as she edged out Choi Minkyung by a mere stroke to secure victory at the inaugural US$650,000 Blue Canyon Ladies Championship held at the Blue Canyon Country Club Phuket on Sunday.

Remaining composed and collected despite the relentless heat of the island, the world No. 35 carded six birdies against two bogeys to finish with a 68, concluding at a total of nine under-par-207 on the par 72 6,491-yard layout.

This victory marked Yewon’s fourth trophy on the KLPGA Tour, adding to her three wins from the previous season that propelled her to the No. 1 spot in the KLPGA Order of Merit for 2023.

“I’m happy to clinch this title, although I feel there’s room for improvement,” said the KLPGA Tour’s top-ranked player. “The fairways are quite narrow, so my strategy was to consistently find them and keep the ball in play.”

Following an errant tee shot that found the pond on the 14th hole, Yewon admitted to a momentary loss of confidence, but two crucial birdies on the 15th and 18th holes brought her back into contention.

“I felt more at ease from that point onwards, although I didn’t anticipate winning outright. It’s truly an honor to triumph here in Thailand. I’ve always wanted to visit Phuket, but I never imagined it would be this hot,” shared Yewon, whose favorite Thai dish is Pad Thai (Thai fired noodles).

Yewon will return to South Korea with a winner’s purse of US$117,000, with plans to defend her title next year.

Minkyung, ranked 59th on the KLPGA, had an opportunity to level with Yewon on the final hole, but her 30-foot birdie attempt  missed the mark. She settled for second place with a score of 71 and a total of eight under-par-208, earning US$71,500 as the runner-up.

Lee Jeyeong, ranked No. 34 on the tour, secured third place with a round of 68 for a total of six under-par-210, placing her alone in third.

Overnight leader Bang Shinsil, plagued by three bogeys and a double bogey on No. 15 against just two birdies, had to settle for a joint fourth-place finish alongside several other players, including Choi Yerim, Leejungmin, Kim Woojeong, Hwang Youmin, Park Juyoung, and Park Minji.

Meanwhile, Park Minji received a special prize—a year’s membership worth Bt200,000—for achieving the lowest score of 65 in the second round.

Despite a disappointing round of 73, Phannarai Meesom-us maintained her status as the most impressive local player of the weekend, finishing tied for 17th place with a total of three under-par-213.

“I’m reasonably pleased with my performance this week, finishing three under par, although I know I could have done better if I hadn’t faltered in the final few holes,” said the 19-year-old player from Chonburi.

“However, playing alongside South Korean players has been a valuable learning experience. They exhibit remarkable mental resilience and can quickly recover from mistakes,” added Phannarai, who will focus primarily on tournaments in Taiwan and China this year.

The Blue Canyon Ladies Championship is proudly sponsored by esteemed brands such as Siang Pure, Peppermint Field, Chang Natural Mineral Water, ANew Golf, SParms, and Hatari.

Blue Canyon Country Club and the KLPGA have inked a three-year agreement to host this tournament from 2024 to 2026.”

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Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.