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Monday, December 11, 2017

The Limerick Summary: 2017 Omega Dubai Ladies Classic

Winner: Angel Yin

Around the wider world of golf: The team of Steve Stricker and Sean O'Hair won the QBE Shootout (aka the Shark Shootout); Horacio Leon won the Il Malinalco Classic on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica; and the ET's Joburg Open finish was delayed until Monday. At the time I'm writing this, the final round has not resumed but Shubhankar Sharma has a 4-shot lead with 11 holes left. [UPDATE: Sharma did win.]

Angel Yin with Omega Dubai trophy

In case you missed Juli Inkster's interview at golfdigest.com, one of the more interesting things she said was:
I’ll be honest: If the Solheim Cup were the Americans against an International side, they’d slaughter us. Of course they’d beat the Europeans easily, too. An A team of Asian players alone would trounce either team, their B team would win handily, and their C team would be very competitive. So what do we do about that?
2017 has been a rough year for the LET. Economic problems similar to those that plagued the LPGA a decade back have taken their toll. It hasn't helped their players prepare to face LPGA players, let alone the Korean juggernaut. And it's hard to get your game in shape when you don't have enough events to gain any rhythm. Hopefully the LPGA and the European Tour, both of whom have offered their aid, will help them recover their footing soon.

But you might not have known that if you watched their year-end Tour Championship, better known as the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic. After four very competitive rounds, it came down to a three-woman playoff:
  • French player Celine Herbin, who was working to keep her card
  • Korean player In-Kyung Kim, the current RICOH Women's British Open champion
  • American player Angel Yin, who came in second in the LPGA's Rookie of the Year race
Herbin went out after doubling the first playoff hole, although she clearly wasn't too disappointed. Why? Her eight-under 64, which got her into the playoff in the first place, was a new personal best. And her paycheck was enough to make #23 in the LET's Order of Merit, which I'm pretty sure guaranteed her card for next year.

Kim and Yin both birdied the first playoff hole, then Yin won the playoff with another birdie on the second. Kim had a chance to tie, which she missed; but while she was disappointed not to win, she said she was pleased to get herself into contention. As she put it, "I think that was the best scenario that I could ever have asked for before teeing off."

As for Yin, she picked up her first professional victory at only 19 years old. And she did it in a playoff, which she said was another of her personal goals. Better get used to that smiling face, folks -- going forward, she may be reaching a lot of personal goals!

Juli Inkster made Angel a Captain's Pick in the last Solheim Cup because she saw potential, a pick that helped the US defend the Cup. But I wonder if even the legendary Mrs. Inkster saw a Limerick Summary in Angel's future?
The LET finish was wild,
A playoff of contrasting styles—
Celine felt no stress
And In-Kyung tried her best
But it’s Angel who walked off all smiles.
The photo came from this page at golfweek.com.

5 comments:

  1. The KLPGA had its 2018 season opener this past weekend, but it was at a brand new event, the Hyosung Championship with SBS instead of the Hyundai China Ladies Open (the rest of the schedule begins in April). The reason they started the season just outside Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, rather than China can be traced back to Kim Jong Un. Why?
    Well, if he didn't decide to accelerate his nuclear and ballistic missile programs South Korea wouldn't have felt compelled to ask the Pentagon to deploy a THAAD missile battery on their soil to shore up their defense. Given the range of the radar installation that came with the battery, Beijing began to complain and insisted that it posed a threat to THEIR security, protestations from Seoul notwithstanding. As soon as the installation was complete China began an unofficial boycott of the South Korean economy. K-pop, K-dramas and movies disappeared from the local media, state media encouraged their captive audience to steer clear of Korean-owned merchants, and the once ubiquitous packages tours from China stopped calling on South Korea. Since the Hyundai China Ladies Open was co-sanctioned by the CLPGA and the KLPGA and had a Korean auto group as title sponsor it surprised no one when it too became a casualty of the THAAD spat. There have been signs of a thaw in Sino/Korean relations of late and the two presidents are due to meet this week in Beijing.
    Enough politics: back to the golf from Vietnam. Hye Jin Choi began her first full season on tour with her third career victory, firing 66-72-68 to finish at -10, two strokes clear of the field.

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    1. Thanks for the update, IC! Hopefully they'll find a way past the politics of the situation going forward.

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  2. Choi could wind up on UL IC, despite not being an LPGA member. Vietnam could also host 2019 LPGA event. Yin impressed Inkster at now-defunct Lorena Ochoa.

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  3. Yin impressively went one under on 18th on Sat despite wet tee ball followed by layup in playoff. Lexi won same event six years ago

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  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWiFxa67RYE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEI_aUJ2t2A

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