EVIAN-LES-BAINS – In Gee Chun is once again a major champion.
The world No.7 made history on Sunday with her victory at the Evian Championship, becoming just the second player in the history of the LPGA Tour to capture her first two victories at major championships, joining fellow countrywoman Se Ri Pak as the only other to accomplish the feat. Chun won the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open as a non-member, which earned her membership to the Tour for 2016 and her win this week in France is her first as a member.
The Korean carded a final round 69 to win by four-strokes at 21-under par to set the lowest winning total in major championship history. The previous record for the women was 19-under par and 20-under par for the men.
“I know 19-under par is tied record before the final round. It was more pressure for me, but I tried to think about it as a really good experience. I tried to more enjoy it,” Chun said after her round.
Despite tee times being moved up this morning in an effort to avoid inclement weather, heavy downpours made for slow and soggy conditions on Sunday morning. But Chun never relinquished the four-stroke lead with which she started the day, extending her lead to six-strokes with five holes to play and ultimately won by four-strokes ahead of So Yeon Ryu and Sung Hyun Park at 17-under par.
“I don’t know because I feel like I’m dreaming now,” Chun said about her victory. “Without nerves, I feel bored. Nothing, bored. I had a lot of pressure on the course, but I much enjoyed my game. I tried my best to keep to my game plan possibly, I think so I might win this time.”
On Sunday, defending champion Lydia Ko clinched the Rolex Annika Major award, which recognizes the player with the best performance in the majors this season. Ariya Jutanugarn needed to finish in a share of fifth or better in order to win the award but came up just short at T-9 for the week.
“It means a lot, especially because coming into this year my goal was to be more consistent in majors, and this exactly is the award for that, and obviously you need a win to have that, and just to have it named after Annika and how successful she’s been in majors and just in general and what she’s done for the game, I think there might not be some of us if it wasn’t for a player like her,” said Ko. “It’s something that I could have only really dreamt of and imagined of, and for it to be true in a few moments I think is going to be awesome, and especially for me to stand alongside a legend like Annika.”
Ko won the season’s first major championship of the season at the ANA Inspiration. The only players eligible to win this year’s award were the season’s four previous major champions: Lydia Ko, Brooke Henderson, Ariya Jutanugarn and Brittany Lang. Michelle Wie and Inbee Park captured the Rolex Annika Major award in it’s first two years. Click here to watch Ko’s interview reacting to her win.