Victory Sweet for Amy Yang at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship | LPGA

SAMMAMISH, Wash. – It was pretty cool to watch. Amy Yang won her first major championship in her 75th career start as her friends and fellow countrywomen held out arms drenched in champagne on the 18th green at Sahalee Country Club.

No victory could have tasted sweeter for Yang, who had come so close to major championships on so many other occasions. Prior to today’s win, the Korea Republic native had recorded 11 top-five finishes in majors and was runner-up at the US Women’s Open in 2012 and 2015, always failing to engrave her name within a putt or a shot here. With the best skills in the game.

The 34-year-old is understandably starting to have doubts.

Will she ever win a major title?

Can she?

When is that going to happen?

Will it ever happen?

Yang’s coach once told her that someone had told her she would never win a major, which cut deeper than she had imagined. „Those words will always be in my heart,” he said. „I was very sorry about that.”

That uncertainty carried over into today’s final round as well, with Yang doing all she could to keep the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship title at bay.

„That self-talk kept coming and it wasn’t easy there,” Yang said. „But I’ve learned over and over again to focus on what I can control out there on the golf course and just keep doing what I’ve been doing. I’ve said over a thousand times what I’ve prepared and what you’ve been doing on practice days.

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That thought process resonated, and even after slip-ups on 16 and 17 threatened his lead on Sunday, Yang hung tough. While she played some spectacular golf over the past four days, it was Yang’s determination throughout the week that ultimately lifted her to victory in Washington.

„I was so nervous at the beginning of the day, even the night before, I told John (Mierling, her caddy) on the 18th fairway, it’s the longest 18 holes I’ve ever played in my career,” Yang admitted. „I was really stressed and felt the pressure there. But I think I was able to stay good and stay positive, of course, even with him. He makes things light.

„At one point, I thought I’d win a major championship sometime before I retire, and I finally did it, and it’s amazing.”

When Yang and Meierling won the CME Group Tour Championship together last November, the waiting group was huge with a champagne celebration, including LPGA Tour players and caddies, ready to celebrate their friends’ victory. Schedule.

But at Chahali on Sunday, the crowd sitting behind the 18th green with bubble in hand was twice as large, and they couldn’t contain their excitement as they watched their friends win again on the LPGA Tour.

This time, however, the win meant a lot more to Emi, to John, to everyone who had rooted for them — as Yang finally achieved her lifelong dream, a goal she’d been playing for longer than she thought possible this time around. His professional golf career.

„I’ve proven to myself that I can do this, and I’ll just keep working hard and move on to the next one,” Yang said. “Our team, we are doing our best. Some days golf feels so easy and so much fun. Other days, I want to retire early. I remember (Jana) telling me that I lose motivation here and there, but that’s a lie. I still really enjoy playing. „

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Go for the winner, and not only did Yang collect a $1.56 million check and 650 race to CME Globe points, but she also earned a spot on the Olympic team for the Republic of Korea. This will be Yang’s second time representing her country, having finished fourth in Brazil in 2016.

And while she’s been close to qualifying for the team all season, Yang didn’t know her KPMG Women’s PGA Championship win would earn her a spot at Lee Golf National, she said during a live interview on Golf Channel. was set up.

„I wasn’t aware of that because I wanted to represent South Korea. That’s one of my biggest goals for this year,” explained Yang. I don’t know, but I did, and I’m very grateful for that.

While her play at the Olympics is special, it will not be Yang’s victory since her victory at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Her ability to persevere through close call after close call has always stuck with the 34-year-old, giving her plenty of positive energy heading into the next two major championships, the Olympic berth. and throughout the 2024 season.

„I thought about it on the golf course today, and that golf was really a fight against me,” Yang said. „I think I proved I can compete, I can do this, so it was a good learning week.”

The trees tell the stories of Chahali, and one has to wonder what they’ll say about Amy Yang’s victory the next time a major championship stops in Sammamish.

Maybe they’ll talk about her birdies, or her resilience, or the incredible champagne shower on the 18th green.

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In any case, this „High Heaven Stadium” has a new chapter in its storied history, triumph and excellence as a player through injury, doubt and setbacks, and finally their dreams come true, worth the years of waiting.

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