Five Korean professionals dominated the Final Qualifying event for the ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open hosted by Christchurch today in testing conditions at the Christchurch Golf Club.
Twenty four golfers were playing for the six remaining places in the fifth edition of the national championship to be staged at the Clearwater Golf Club which tees off this Thursday.
Heiji Kim (Macleans Island) won the event by two shots when she carded a seven under par 67 to secure her place in style. Kim made eight birdies and a bogey to finish two ahead of fellow Korean pro Min Sun Kim who signed for a five under par 69.
Laura Hoskin, who starred for Otago in the Toro Women’s Interprovincial last year at St Clair, was the sole Kiwi to make the cut.
The Arrowtown Golf Club member secured a start in her first New Zealand Women’s Open when she had a three under par 71 to finish in third place.
Three other golfers Yee Yeon Kim (Methven), Joo Ga Eun (South Korea) and Kwon Ye Ji (South Korea) all fired rounds of two under par 72 to make the qualifying mark by one shot.
Waitakitiri amateur Yean Lin Cho was the unlucky one as she finished one shot outside the number when she shot one under par 71.
North Harbour amateur Lita Guo, who was playing the day after securing her first national title when she won by six shots at the LawnMaster Classic, finished in a share of eighth place after an even par round.
Tournament Director Dave Mangan was impressed by the scoring in the rain which was persistent throughout the middle of the round.
“Conditions today were tough while it rained, but after that the greens were receptive and that showed in the great scores,” said the New Zealand Golf General Manager.
“We have an amazing field assembled this year, with major winners and Solheim Cup players so the six qualifiers today have a great chance to play alongside some world golfing superstars.”
“One of these successful players here could make the cut and find themselves playing with a Laura Davies or Angela Stanford on Sunday.”
The ISPS Handa NZ Women's Open hosted by Christchurch has attracted a world-class field including three of the previous four champions of the event and World No.1 amateur Lydia Ko.
Australian Lindsey Wright is unable to defend her title after withdrawing with injury.
Also in the field for the championship from February 8 – 10 at the Clearwater Golf Club are former major champions Anna Nordqvist and Sophie Gustafson (both of Sweden).
World No.16 Angela Stanford and Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, are other notable players in a field that will include 32 LPGA Tour Players. The all-star cast will also include European No. 1 Carlota Ciganda. It is the strongest field ever assembled for the NZ Women’s Open.
Tickets are available at the gate.
ISPS Handa New Zealand Women's Open Final Qualifying Scores – Christchurch Golf Club (Par 74)
67 Heiji Kim (McLeans Island)
69 Min Sun Kim (McLeans Island)
71 Laura Hoskin (Arrowtown)
72 Kwon Ye Ji (South Korea), Joo Ga Eun (South Korea), Yee Yeon Kim (Methven)
The following players missed the cut:
73 Yean Lin Cho (Waitikiri)
74 Park Da Som (South Korea), Lita Guo (Remuera)
75 Choi In Sun (South Korea), Sai Ma (North Shore), Jeong Min Yoo (South Korea), Sylvie Williams (Waimairi Beach), Sang Hee Lee (Waitikiri)
76 Su Won Lee (South Korea), Hanna Seifert (Lochiel), Robyn Cruse (Russley), Deborah Seo (Coringa)
78 Min Kyung Cho (Waitikiri), Jan Manoonpong (Remuera)
79 Elisha Crosbie (Russley)
81 Soo Yoen Yu (Waitikiri)
82 Da Young Cho (Waitikiri)
84 Chan Mi Park (Methven)