10-27-2008 16:33
Shin Ji-yai Achieves KLPGA Grand Slam


Shin Ji-yai holds the trophy after winning the fourth Star Tour event in extra rounds Sunday Incheon. Shin finished with a 3-under 285. / Yonhap
By Yoon Chul
Korea Times Intern

Shin Ji-yai achieved a grand slam by winning all three of the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA)'s major tournaments this year, including a victory in the fourth Star Tour event Sunday in Incheon.

Shin. Who was tied for first place with Choi Hye-yong and Ahn Sun-ju with a score of 3-under 285, won the Star Tour event in a playoff.

Shin' who is ranked No.1 in the KLPGA and is going to play on the U.S. Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour next year, became the only grand slam winner in KLPGA history. The KLPGA began having major tournaments with the Korea Open and KLPGA Championship in 2001. The fourth Star Tour event upgraded to a major last year.

The 20-year-old Shin earned 125 million won in prize money for her win on Sunday. She's earned 765 million won on the Korean tour this year, which sets a record for the most prize money earned in one year in the KLPGA or the Korea Professional Golf Association (KPGA).

Shin, who is known as "Little Giants," has earned the KLPGA's Most Valuable Player (MVP) award and the award for the most prize money three straight years.

Shin shot 1-over 73 in the final round of the fourth Star Tour event, while Ahn shot a 69 and Choi a 64 to force a playoff.

Ahn was eliminated when she missed 1-meter par putt on the first extra hole. Shin made a 70-centimeter par putt on the second extra hole to win the match.

"As every shot didn't go the way I wanted, I thought this trophy was not for me," said Shin, who did not get any birdies on Sunday, despite playing 20 holes."However I got the big present fortunately."

Shin will play at the Hana Bank KOLON Championship, which starts Friday in Incheon. She is also scheduled to play in the Ricoh Cup, one of the Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association (JLPGA)'s major tournaments.

Shin, who also won the Women's British Open, is attempting to become a major champion in the LPGA, KLPGA and JLPGA in the same year.

snuchul@naver.com