Sports Outside the Beltway

Ji-Yai Shin wins HSBC Women’s Champions

It took all of three LPGA tournaments in 2009 before a South Korean took home the winner’s trophy.

South Korean star Jiyai Shin won the HSBC Women’s Champions on Sunday for her fourth LPGA Tour title in eight months, shooting her second straight 6-under 66 for a two-stroke victory over Australia’s Katherine Hull.shin4

The 20-year-old Shin, five strokes behind Hull at the start of the round and four back with nine holes to play, had an 11-under 277 total at Tanah Merah and earned $300,000 for her first victory as a member of the LPGA Tour.

“I’m very surprised and very happy,” said Shin, the Women’s British Open winner last August at Sunningdale. “I’m thinking, I had chance for top 10, not for win.”

Called the “Final-Round Queen” in South Korea, Shin birdied the first four holes — opening with 9- and 12-foot putts, chipping in from 45 feet on No. 3 and adding a 15-footer — to put herself in position to take advantage of Hull’s back-nine meltdown. -AP

Singapore was Shin’s 4th LPGA win since last August. She’s just a tour rookie, but one with over world-wide wins who could be player of the year this year. I actually predicted it.

2009 got off to a slow start for Shin, primarily due to two rounds of golf. She shot an 81 in Hawaii and missed the cut at the LPGA operner, and then followed it with a first round 75 in Thailand. She did bounce back to finish 13th there and now has posted another win. Any thoughts of last year being a fluke have to be gone.

Other notes-

Katherine Hull continues to be on a roll, which like Ji-Yai’s, began last summer. I picked Hull as one of the top 10 golfers for 2009. She should be in the winner’s circle again soon.

Brazilian born but Naturalized US citizen Angela Park finished 3rd for the second time this year.

Jane Park’s 6th place finish improves her chances of qualifying for the 2009 US Solheim Cup team. She was 12th in the points standings, and may be 11th now. The top 10 players automatically qualify for the team.

Angela Stanford has three top tens in three tournaments this year, including a win.

Also blogging on this news- The Constructivist

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