There were only three people shocked to see Korea produce a dominant Queen Sirikit Cup victory in Adelaide today – the three Korean players themselves.
As humble as imaginable given their rampant 16-shot margin over second-placed Australia, Uhjin Seo, Ye-Been Sohn and Ye Won Lee also made it a trifecta in the individual standings with a command performance at the immaculate Glenelg Golf Club.
It was the 21st Korean victory in the 41 editions of what has become the Asia-Pacific women’s teams championship and, remarkably, the 12th time in the past 13 years that the “Seoul Sisters” have prevailed.
Seo, 17, at eight under through three rounds, became the 16th Korean to win the secondary individual prize, but immediately downplayed that in deference to her equally impressive teammates Sohn (-6) and Lee (-4).
“This was not what we expected,” said the modest Seo, whose two-under-par 71 was the equal fifth best score of the closing round, yet still not good enough to be a counting score today for Korea, with the top two individual scores counting towards the daily team total.
“We haven’t played away from Korea before, so to do this is beyond what we thought possible.
“The course was fantastic and it really suited the way we played … we are beyond excited about the result,” she said through a translator.
Sohn, 17, admitted the burden of previous Korean success weighed on the team, but paid tribute to national coach Birdie Kim, the 2005 US Women’s Open champion.
“The teams who’ve played before are so good, it’s hard to match. But Birdie was very helpful to us, reminding us we could only play our game and not to worry about anything past,” she said through a translator.
“It’s great to have her as part of our team.”
Lee, 16, said the team had been thrilled with Glenelg and their time in Adelaide.
“We have had great food, fun after golf and the course is beautiful … we are very happy here.”
Sydney’s Steph Kyriacou played the day’s best round – a superb four-under 69 including an eagle on the par-five sixth to power Australia into second place at a one-under total.
The St Michaels member played her way into fifth place overall at one under, two strokes behind Bianca Pagdanganan, of the Philippines, in fourth.
China signified its continuing improvement with a combined one-under total today to finish third overall in the team event, three behind Australia at two over and relegating Thailand (+3) and New Zealand (+5) from the podium.
The 2020 edition will be played next March near Jakarta, Indonesia.