Matt Cooper was at Sky 72 Golf Club to witness In Gee Chun complete the third LPGA Tour victory of her career, and the first in front of her home fans.
The 24-year-old is a two-time major champion yet she has struggled for form this year until a striking victory last week at the UL International Crown when representing Korea. Buoyed by that success she moved through the field after a slow start on Thursday, then pounced in the final round with a stunning 6-under-par 66.
At the start of the final round Chun trailed the 54-hole pace-setters Charley Hull and Danielle Kang by two strokes, but she played the front nine in a blistering 5-under-par 31 to claim the lead, watched on by playing partner Lydia Ko.
The Korean fans were out in huge numbers, with plenty wearing colourful outfits to support their favourite golfers.
After the turn the vast majority of the galleries followed Chun, whose shuttle up the hill to the 11th tee was briefly delayed in the traffic.
Fans clambered over rocks to gain the best vantage points at Sky 72 Golf Club near Seoul.
From every green to the following tee Chun walked down funnels of excited fans. This walk to the 12th tee was one of the most remote and therefore least populated, but one set of fans had a special banner waiting for her.
Chun’s nickname is Dumbo, a reference to the Disney elephant.
Two of Chun’s youngest fans were getting excited as the lead grew to two shots midway through the back nine. Only Hull was holding onto the coat tails of the home favourite.
The fans packed the banks around the greens.
When a three-shot victory was assured Chun celebrated with the golf club staff.
The champion’s every move was followed by an army of photographers.
Meanwhile Korea’s most popular player Sung Hyun Park was signing autogrpahs for her fans.
And after the win Chun revealed what a tough year she has had, one disrupted by nasty comments on the internet and her grandmother’s illness. After a few tears she smiled as she discussed ending a two year win drought.
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