22 Sep 2020 | Amateur golf |

Two in a row for brilliant Park

by Martin Blake

Hyejun Park image
Hyejun Park displays the trophy for another Katherine Kirk Classic.

Gold Coast schoolgirl Hyejun Park has dominated the Katherine Kirk Classic at Maroochy River, winning the event by a whopping eight shots.

A second-round 62 on Monday, smashing the course record, set her up for the successful title defence. Park threatened to break 60 at one point, had two eagles and closed with three straight pars. “I could’ve hit it better,” she said. “But I missed some putts!”

By the time the 17-year-old from Royal Pines turned up to play the third and final round today, her lead was 12 shots.

Ultimately she shot a closing 71 and at 18-under par, was eight ahead of Em Hui Ting of Hills International at 10-under for the 54 holes. Another Queenslander, Justice Bosio, was third at seven-under.

Monday’s 62, 10-under par, was a career-low. Two eagles on par-fours – one where she drove the green; the other where she chipped in from 25 metres.

“I was hitting my driver pretty long, so it was pretty easy for me to get it on to the green,” she said. “I was holing a few good putts as well. My inside 100-metres stuff was pretty good.

“I had eight-under three times. One was in New South Wales. Another one was at Coolangatta-Tweed Heads (at the national juniors). I was thinking of my score, because every time I finished at eight-under, and I was trying not to!’’

Park, who is a South Korean national who came to Queensland four years ago with her father, Yong. She is the reigning Australian junior champion and won the Queensland stroke play title a month ago.

Next year, she plans on trying at the LPGA Tour school in the United States and potentially turning professional, “if I can”.

Her game is built around length and accuracy off the tee. “Driver’s my favourite club,” she said. “It goes long and straight!’’

Sarah Hammett from Emerald Lakes won the under 15 title at four-under, while the under 21 title went to Chia-Yu Hsieh from Hills International at three-under par.

Fifty-seven players teed it up at Maroochy River over the three days of the event, which has been supported by LPGA professional Kirk for the past eight years.


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