“Beautiful Smile Queen” Ha Neul Kim won Japan Major Tournament

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The LPGA tour championship Ricoh Cup 2016 of Japan LPGA tour tournament was held from November 24 to 27, at the Miyazaki Country Club in Miyazaki. It was a last tournament in 2016, the top 25 players of the prize money ranking and the winner of this year took part in this tournament. So 31 players took part in the tournament in this year, and there are no failing a cut lose. In the last week, Bo Mee Lee had became a leading money winner 2 years in a row.

In the first round, Ayaka Watanabe shot a 68 so she took the first place. She was aiming to participate in the Rio Olympics. But Watanabe took the 38th place in 2016 U.S. Women’s Open Championship, she was selected to the members of the Japan national women’s Olympic Golf team. Ji-Hee Lee, Kaori Ohe and P Chutichai of Thai shot a 69 and they took the 2nd place with 1 stroke behind Waanabe. Bo-Mee Lee shot a 74 and she took the 19th place with 6 strokes behind the 1st place.

In the second round, Jiyai Shin shot a 66 so her total score was 7 under and she took the first place. She has won over 130 million yen, so her prize money ranking was 2nd. Ha-Neul Kim shot a 69 and she took the 2nd place with 3 strokes behind Shin. Watanabe shot a 69 and her total score was 3 under, so she dropped to the 3rd place with Ai Suzuki. Bo-Mee Lee took the 15th place, but Ritsuko Ryu didn’t raised scores and her total score was 10 over par. So her place was 30th of the lowest rank with Megumi Kido.

Ha-Neul Kim raised scores even in the third round. She shot a 67 so her total score was 9 under and she took the first place. Shin shot a 72 and her total score was 7 under, so she dropped to the 2nd place with 2 strokes behind Kim. In this round, the player who shot the high score was Rumi Yoshiba. She shot a 64 and it was best score in the tournament. So she took the 3rd place with 3 strokes behind the 1st place. Watanabe and Suzuki shot a 72 and their total score was 3 under, so they dropped to the 5th place.

Due to bad weather, the start was delayed in the final round. But Ha-Neul Kim shot a 72 and her total score was 9 under. So she won LPGA tour championship Ricoh Cup 2016. It was a first time victory for her in Japan Major tournament. She did not go to the practice place this week to keep her condition, so it led to the victory. Then Kim got the winning prize of 25 million yen and took the 4th place of the prize money ranking in the Japan LPGA Tour. Misuzu Narita raised scores, she shot a 66. So she ended in the 2nd place with 1 stroke behind Kim. Shin shot a 73 and her total score was 6 under, so she dropped to the 3rd place. Yoshiba took the 4th place with Ji-Hee Lee, Bo Mee Lee took the 9th place.

Ha-Neul Kim ‘s biography is that she’s the age of 28 and she was born at South Korea. She began playing golf from 12 years old and became a professional golfer in 2006. In 2008, she won first time in KLPGA Tour tournament. And she became a leading money winner of KLPGA Tour 2 years in a row from 2011. Kim had been playing in Japan LPGA Tour from 2015 season, and she won the 2015 Munsingwear Ladies Tokai Classic in September 2015. It was a first time victory for her in Japan. After that, she won AXA Ladies Golf tournament in Miyazaki in March 2016.

Ha-Neul Kim is the same age of Bo Mee Lee, they went to the same university in South Korea. Then Kim is 5 feet 7 inches tall(170 cm) and has a beautiful smile, she is called “Smile Queen”. Her popularity increased in Japan, so her official fan club was made in Japan. Together with Bo Mee Lee and Ayaka Matsumori, Kim is one of the most beautiful women’s golfer now.

This youtube’s video is the AXA Ladies Golf tournament in Miyazaki 2016. Kim’s play is getting better and she will be active at the Japan LPGA Tour in the future.

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