MJ Hur Claims Sweet Home, Alabama Victory!


Aug 14, 2014; Pittsford, NY, USA; Mi Jung Hur waits to hit her tee shot on the 13th hole during the first round of the LPGA Championship at Monroe Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The final round at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic started off looking like it would be a shootout between MJ Hur and Paula Reto.  As Reto fumbled her start with bogeys on 1 and 3, Sunday quickly became a contest between Hur and Stacy Lewis.  But despite a bogey-free 66, Lewis couldn’t close the gap.  Hur, who also carded a fourth round 66 and finished at a record-breaking 21-under par for the tourney, simply could not be caught on Sunday.

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A Delicious Victory

The Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic is MJ Hur’s first win since 2009.  It’s been a very long dry spell.  She’s worked on her game, made revisions in her swing and shaping her shots, and polished her putting.  For four days she drew strength from her father — her first swing coach and her caddie in Alabama — and it all came together for her on the RTJ Golf Trail Capitol Hill Senator course.

If Lewis’s hot pursuit made her nervous Hur didn’t show it on the course.  Her swing never wavered and she played her round to the final putt with a quietly dignified composure.  Then, head bowed as she stood in the center of the green, the tears flowed.

It was a fine four days’ worth of work.  Hur joined the 2014 LPGA Winner’s Circle, collected $195K, jumped from 94th to 63rd in the world rankings, collected 500 Race to the CME Globe points and is now in the 26th place on the 2014 LPGA Official Money List.

The Rookie’s Triumph

Paula Reto was much more concerned about securing her Tour card for next year than she was about winning in Alabama when she teed off on Thursday.  She certainly didn’t imagine shooting the low round on Friday and being in contention going into Sunday.

Never mind that the rookie couldn’t sustain her pace.  That will come.  What’s important is that Reto now knows she has a game in her bag that can compete with the best players in the world on golf’s big stage!

Her solo 3rd finish netted Reto that secure 2015 berth and more money than she’s previously earned this season!

Home-Town Girl

Local favorite and Auburn University alum, Cydney Clanton, took away a lot of positives from her perfor­mance this past week at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.  Clanton shot a first round 66 and final round 67 to finish tied for seventh.

"I’ve been real patient all week and I’ve hit the ball really well . . .  It was nice to see the putter get hot and to see some putts go in…this year as I just didn’t see many putts going in, so to finally see some putts going in is great. – Cydney Clanton"

Before this week, Clanton was unsure about her status for next year and knew that she needed to perform well in Alabama.  She did exactly that, delivering a solid performance and staying high on the leaderboard.  Her Sunday finish will move her up a full category on the priority list heading into next year.

Rock-Solid Consistency

The win at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic slipped off defending champion and world ranked number 1 Stacy Lewis’s putter face Sunday afternoon on the back nine.  I figured going into Sunday that Lewis needed to shoot a 61 to get past Hur.  She almost did it.

Lewis played the front nine in 32, but then on the back nine the putts wouldn’t drop.  Under ordinary circumstances a bogey-free 66 would be super.  Sunday it wasn’t enough.  Lewis had to settle for runner-up.

"M.J. played some great golf and I would have liked to have maybe just gotten one or two more to put a little pressure on, but I don’t know if anybody was catching her today. – Stacy Lewis"

On to Scotland & China

The Tour and I both have a week off before the fall Asia loop begins in China at the Reignwood LPGA Classic, October 2-5.

For the next week the ProGolfNow spotlight will be focused on Gleneagles, Scotland and the Ryder Cup, providing ongoing news, commentary and updates as the contest unfolds.  Ricky Fowler has even gotten a special haircut!