Korean plays it smart, shares lead
Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - August 23, 2019 - 12:00am

LIPA City, Batangas, Philippines — Korean Hwang Min-Jeong defied practically everything, including the advice of her father-caddie, Hwang Byung Sug, to gain a crack at The Women’s Championship at the Summit Point crown.

Going against her dad’s advice to play aggressively, Hwang opted to play it smart – and produced the desired result – a three-under 69 on three birdies in the last five to rally from four down, catch Thai Nemittra Juntanaket at the helm and set up a final-round shootout in the P750,000 event put up by ICTSI.

“I got a little confused because my father wanted me to attack and go for the pins but I opted to play it smart,” said Hwang, 17, who had two birdies against the same number of bogeys after 12 holes. “So he gave me the chance to play my game at the back.”

And play she did, birdying Nos. 14, 15 and 17 for the second straight day to save a 35-34 while pouncing on Juntanaket’s flubbed par-putt from three feet on No. 15 to force a tie at seven-under 137 after the Thai ace slowed down with a 71 after a fiery opening 66.

But Hwang vowed to heed her father’s advice in the final 18 holes and guaranteed no less than a victory in the penultimate leg of the 12-stage circuit organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc.

“I think my father was right after all. So, I’ll play it aggressively and try to get more birdies, or even an eagle, tomorrow (today). This time, I expect to get the trophy,” said 2018 Philippine Amateur Open winner, who hit 10 fairways and missed four greens while bucking windy play and tough pin placements.

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