Chun In-gee savors ‘special’ feelings in return to site of maiden LPGA major

Chun In-gee speaks during a news conference before the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament which will take place at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, U.S., May 29. AP-Yonhap

Preparing for the U.S. Women’s Open this week on the same Pennsylvania course where she enjoyed her LPGA breakthrough in 2015 has taken Chun In-gee on a trip down memory lane.

The Korean LPGA star will tee off at Lancaster Country Club in the city of Lancaster on Thursday afternoon (local time). Nine years ago, Chun, not even an LPGA member at the time, defeated fellow Korean Amy Yang by one stroke to win the U.S. Women’s Open — Chun’s first LPGA major and her first LPGA win, period.

Fans in Lancaster were fully behind the little-known Korean golfer, then just 20 years old. And Chun has embraced the community right back, to the point where she now calls Lancaster her second home.

In 2019, Chun launched the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Educational Foundation, which has awarded over $470,000 in scholarships to 70 recipients.

“I feel so special because I have so many good memories from here,” Chun said Wednesday at her pretournament press conference at the course. “After being on the tour for nine years, now I know how special I feel to have this relationship with the Lancaster community and how 추천 much love I got from the community here and the LCC members. I know how many people plan all the efforts to make the good golf course. Amazing conditions here.”

Chun said she grew up in a poor family in Korea and received help from other people along the way. And after receiving so much love in Lancaster in 2015 — “Everyone was so kind,” she said — Chun decided she would give something back to the community.

“Luckily, I got an opportunity to make a foundation here. Now, I know how important it is to help the people. That’s how I grew up in Korea,” Chun said. “I really appreciate all those opportunities I had from here.”

When she is not busy reconnecting with the Lancaster community, Chun will try to win her fourth career major this week. Three of her four career LPGA titles so far have come at major tournaments.

Chun enjoyed her best performance of the season last week at the Mizuho Americas Open, where she tied for 14th.

“The course has got longer this time, and I think the greens are firmer this year,” Chun said of the par-70, 6,546-yard layout. Lancaster played at 6,483 yards in 2015. “But I have a lot more fans here than other players. I feel it helps me a lot during this week.”

Chun said the course will test every shot in the bag.

“I think a lot of players and caddies say it’s a true major golf course,” she said. “We need everything. We need good tee shots, good game plan, good second shot, and absolutely, we need good skills around the greens. The greens are so slopey, so we need good putting too. Everything is not easy from here.”

Chun will play alongside Korean American Danielle Kang and American amateur Latanna Stone in the opening round.

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