Eun-Hee Ji Aces 14th Hole, Wins Kia Classic
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2018-03-27
Eun-Hee Ji Poses With A Trophy After Winning The Kia Classic. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
CARLSBAD, California (AP) — Eun-Hee Ji had a hole-in-one to dramatically finish off Cristie Kerr and the other challengers in the Kia Classic.
Her lead cut from four strokes to one, Ji aced the 156-yard 14th with a 7-iron, the ball bouncing and rolling into the hole, to push her advantage to three shots.
Ji finished with a 5-under 67 at Aviara for a two-stroke victory over Kerr and Lizette Salas in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills.
Ji finished at 16-under 272. The 31-year-old South Korean player earned $270,000 and two Kia cars, a Sorento for the hole-in-one and a Stinger for the victory. She has four LPGA Tour victories, including the 2009 U.S. Women's Open.
The 40-year-old Kerr closed with a 68. She shot a 64 on Friday to take a five-stroke lead into the weekend, then had a 75 on Saturday to drop a stroke behind Ji, Salas and In-Kyung Kim.
Salas finished with a 69.
Ji followed the ace with three-putt bogey on the par-4 15th and 18th. She had five birdies in a seven-hole stretch that ended on No. 10 to open a four-stroke lead. Ji hit all 18 greens in regulation and all but one fairway — the drivable par-4 16th.
Jane Park (67), Kris Tamulis (68) and Kim (70) tied for fourth at 13 under, and Anna Nordqvist (69), Jeong Eun Lee (69) and Wei-Ling Hsu (70) were another stroke back.
Inbee Park, the Founders Cup winner last week in Phoenix, shot a 69 to tie for 18th at 9 under. Singapore winner Michelle Wie (69) was 8 under, and top-ranked Shanshan Feng (72) was 7 under. Lexi Thompson (72) tied for 58th at 2 under.