Seventeen-year-old Gold Coast schoolgirl, Min Kweon, has shot a three-round one-under par total of 215 (73-68-74) to win the Katherine Kirk Classic on the Sunshine Coast.
Min won by two shots from Sunshine Coast local, Sarah Wilson of Pelican Waters, with Ka Yeon Park (Sanctuary Cove) and Hye Park (Royal Pines) a further stroke away in third. Last year’s winner, Cassie Porter of Peregian Springs, was next, on 219.
Leading by three strokes going into Tuesday’s final round at Maroochy River, a nervous Min birdied the final hole to clinch her first ‘big’ tournament win.
“I felt a lot of pressure starting the last round as the leader, and playing in the same group as the girls who were chasing me,” she said.
“But I am pleased I was able to stay focused and win my first three-day championship event.”
Known to her playing partners by her Australian name of Alice, the Sanctuary Cove-based youngster moved from Korea to the Gold Coast five years ago. She attends St Stephen’s College at Coomera and is coached at the ANK International Golf Academy by Chris Lee.
Only three players in the field of 68 scored an under-par round during the three-day tournament with a one-over 73 from Sarah Wilson the best on the rain-affected final day. The quartet breaking par were Sarah (69 on Monday), Hye Park (70 on Sunday) and Cassie Porter (71 on Sunday), while champion Min shot the best round of the tournament, a four-under 68 on Monday, which was blemish free with four birdies.
Overall the winner had nine birdies and eight bogeys on a links layout she said she enjoyed, but was demanding.
“The course was in fantastic condition, and the greens were excellent for putting,” she said.
“But I often found it hard to stop the ball on the greens.”
A disappointing first round almost certainly cost Sarah Wilson, who formerly played at Maroochy River, the tournament. Her 75 on Sunday included four bogeys but she came back into contention on Monday in a round that featured four birdies and an eagle to put within striking distance.
Sarah was equal leader on Tuesday when she double bogeyed the par-four 13th hole. However, she was pleased with her performance.
“With rain on the final day the greens were so different – the ball was skidding,” she said.
“But despite being beaten into second, overall I was very pleased with my game.”
Hye Park won the 15 years and under division by a whopping six strokes from Lion Higo of Emerald Lakes, while Rhianna Lewis (Pelican Waters) won the under 21 division from Jessika Knight of Bribie Island.