The Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association team won all four of their matches on day two of The Queens presented by Kowa, a unique tournament between four of the world’s leading women’s golf tours, to earn their place in the Championship Final with the defending champions from the LPGA of Japan.
With each match victory worth two points, the KLPGA team earned eight points in the day-two four-balls at Miyoshi Country Club in Nagoya for a total of 12 points, one more than their nearest rivals.
The format has changed from the inaugural event in 2015, when all four tours played singles matches against each other on the final day. This year, the first and second placed teams will play against each other in eight singles matches, while the third and fourth placed teams from the Ladies European Tour and Australian Professional Golf, who scored seven and two points respectively over the first two days, will compete in the Third Place Final.
All scores will be scratched before the final day.
KLPGA Captain, Jiyai Shin, said: “I’m very proud of my team today and they all had great condition and enjoyed the nice weather. They played so good so we are very happy at the moment. When I finished, I followed a few holes and saw all the other teams played well, so it was very impressive. It was great for the gallery because I saw a lot of birdies.”
After the match, her players went straight to the putting green to practice before attending an organised team dinner with a local speciality.
“In Korea, before a big game, we eat a lot of eel and this area is famous for it so we booked a restaurant for tonight,” she said, “because we say it gives you a lot of energy.”
The JLPGA Captain, Ritsuko Ryu, commented: “The Korean players were fantastic and we know that they are a group of brilliant players and we were expecting them to finish well today. We played some good golf, good team work with all of our players. We would like to refresh our minds and do our best for tomorrow.”
LET Captain Trish Johnson said she was ‘gutted’ as her team fell just short of qualifying for the Championship Final.
Her star performers were Britons Catriona Matthew and Georgia Hall, who defeated Australians Katherine Kirk and Lauren Hibbert by 6 and 4 in the top match, Matthew having also won her foursomes match with Nanna Koerstz Madsen on Friday.
“I’ve had some good partners. Georgia played well today. She is very steady and putted very well. She made some good birdie putts, so she was a nice partner to have,” Matthew offered.
Hall said: “Today I played with Catriona and who doesn’t want to play with Catriona? It was amazing and we played well and holed some good putts. I’m happy to get a big win.
“We didn’t make a bogey, so I’m happy because we both played well. This is one of the best weeks of the year, for me. To be in the team with everyone, it’s just amazing and I don’t want it to end. I’m a bit sad it’s going to end tomorrow. Next year!”
Fellow Briton Florentyna Parker and Isabelle Boineau from France halved the fifth match, against the Japanese pair Yumiko Yoshida and Kotone Hori.
Parker said: “I think we did well towards the end, but we could have holed a few more putts. Isa made a great birdie on the 16th to get back to all square and then on the last two holes we all made par, so we had a few chances, but neither team made one.”
Boineau added: “I think we started too slow on the first couple of holes. If we could have holed more putts on the front nine, then they would have been a bit shaky the whole round, but we were chasing them because we were two down the whole way.”
Johnson added: “With an hour to go, we had a chance to get through, but I think the lesson is that we had to get off to better starts. We made great comebacks as we looked down and out at one stage. You’ve got to get off to quicker starts against that calibre of player.
“It’s a tough format this, because we’ve got quite a few points, but you start on scratch tomorrow. I can guarantee that the Aussies will be up for a match against the LET, that’s for sure! A lot of our mates are playing and we’ll look them in the face next week. I’ve told the girls, they can have their disappointment but come tomorrow morning they need to be as up for it as they were today and yesterday.”
ALPG Captain Rachel Hetherington said: “Our team is very excited to have finished so strong with our final match with Whitney (pictured below) and Su, so it’s given us some good momentum for tomorrow. We’re certainly looking forward to playing the LET tomorrow with some great players.”
Friday Foursomes Results
Ritsuko Ryu and Kotone Hori (JLPGA) defeated Florentyna Parker and Georgia Hall (LET) 2 and 1
Min Sun Kim and Su Yeon Jang (KLPGA) defeated Whitney Hillier and Rachel Hetherington (ALPG) 2 and 1
Catriona Matthew and Nanna Koerstz Madsen (LET) defeated Sarah Kemp and Stacey Keating (ALPG) 2 and 1
Shiho Oyama and Ai Suzuki (JLPGA) defeated Jin-Young Ko and Jiyai Shin (KLPGA) 1 up
Yukari Nishiyama and Megumi Shimokawa (JLPGA) defeated Katherine Kirk and Lauren Hibbert (ALPG) 2 up
Nuria Iturrios and Isabelle Boineau (LET) defeated Hee Won Jung and Seon Woo Bae (KLPGA) 2 and 1
Erika Kikuchi and Ayaka Watanabe (JLPGA) defeated Linda Wessberg and Becky Morgan (LET) 1 up
Hae Rym Kim and Seung Hyun Lee (KLPGA) defeated Su-Hyun Oh and Sarah Jane Smith (ALPG) 4 and 3
(2 points for a win, 1 point for a halved match)
Saturday Four-ball Results
Catriona Matthew and Georgia Hall (LET) defeated Katherine Kirk and Lauren Hibbert (ALPG) 6 and 4
Jiyai Shin and Min Sun Kim (KLPGA) defeated Shiho Oyama and Ai Suzuki (JLPGA) 4 and 2
Ritsuko Ryu and Megumi Shimokawa (JLPGA) defeated Sarah Jane Smith and Sarah Kemp (ALPG) 4 and 3
Jeongmin Cho and Jin-Young Ko (LPGA) defeated Becky Morgan and Nuria Iturrios (LET) 2 and 1
Florentyna Parker and Isabelle Boineau (LET) halved with Yumiko Yoshida and Kotone Hori (JLPGA)
Hee Won Jung and Seon Woo Bae (KLPGA) defeated Stacey Keating and Cathryn Bristow (ALPG) 3 and 2
Su-Hyun Oh and Whitney Hillier (ALPG) defeated Linda Wessberg and Nanna Koerstz Madsen (LET) 2 and 1
Su Yeon Jang and Seung Hyun Lee (KLPGA) defeated Erika Kikuchi and Ayaka Watanabe (JLPGA) 3 and 2
(2 points for a win, 1 point for a halved match)
Sunday Singles Draw
Third Place Final between LET and ALPG
8:00 Georgia Hall versus Katherine Kirk
8:08 Catriona Matthew versus Rachel Hetherington
8:16 Nuria Iturrios versus Sarah Jane Smith
8:24 Isabelle Boineau versus Cathryn Bristow
8:32 Nanna Koerstz Madsen versus Su-Hyun Oh
8:40 Florentyna Parker versus Sarah Kemp
8:48 Becky Morgan versus Whitney Hillier
8:56 Linda Wessberg versus Stacey Keating
Championship Final between KLPGA and LPGA of Japan
9:10 Jiyai Shin versus Shiho Oyama
9:18 Min Sun Kim versus Ai Suzuki
9:26 Su Yeon Jang versus Ritsuko Ryu
9:34 Hae Rym Kim versus Megumi Shimokawa
9:42 Jin-Young Ko versus Erika Kikuchi
9:50 Jeongmin Cho versus Yukari Nishiyama
9:58 Seon Woo Bae versus Ayaka Watanabe
10:06 Seung Hyun Lee versus Kotone Hori