In Gee Chun Wins 2022 KPMG Women's PGA Championship
In Gee Chun had a big chat with her sister last week.
What did she want? Why was she playing? Was it time to quit golf?
No, Chun thought, it wasn’t. It was time to get to work.
That work, and that renewed mindset, helped propel Chun to the winner’s circle at the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship after a drama-filled Sunday afternoon at Congressional Country Club.
“I didn’t want to quit the golf. I believe I still have a spirit and I saw, ‘In Gee, you still want to play golf.’ So, I am trying to really hard this week,” said Chun. “Then I’m just so happy to make win after all that happened.
“I just want to keep saying, like, I’m so proud of myself.”
2022 #KPMGWomensPGA Champion: In Gee Chun. pic.twitter.com/PgQnTC4OSJ— KPMG Women's PGA Championship (@KPMGWomensPGA) June 26, 2022
Chun, who shot a 3-over 75 on Sunday, topped Minjee Lee and Lexi Thompson by one.
It was her third major championship victory, and her first win on the LPGA Tour since 2018. Chun won $1.35 million after KPMG announced the total purse would double for 2022 from last year to $9 million.
Chun, who fired the course record at Congressional Country Club’s Blue Course on Thursday, an 8-under 64, struggled over the weekend as the conditions got more and more difficult.
She had a seven-shot lead at one point but lost it after shooting a 4-over 40 on her first nine holes Sunday. Chun rallied with two birdies on her back nine and was clutch down the stretch.
The winning moment. @ingeechun_dumbo #KPMGWomensPGA pic.twitter.com/fTQRvM7Pf9— KPMG Women's PGA Championship (@KPMGWomensPGA) June 26, 2022
“I want to tell truth. I think I couldn’t control all my pressure. That’s why I had four bogeys. Then, at the same time, you know, the course is never easy here,” said Chun. “Sometimes my golf is not perfect so that’s what happened on the front nine.
“First nine holes I got a lot of pressure, to be honest, I couldn’t enjoy to play golf. I believe if I stick to my game plan and then I believe I have a chance in the back nine, so I try to hang in there. I’m so happy I made it.”
After carrying the weight of this championship for 72 holes, she hit her approach on the par-4 18th to the back rough and rolled her first putt across the green to just a couple of feet.
She saved the testy par, remained at 5 under, and found the winner’s circle.
“I made it,” she said emphatically, and with big smile.
Lexi Thompson had a 15-foot try for a tying birdie on the par-4 18th – which, according to KPMG Performance Insights, had played as the hardest hole all week – but ended up just short.
Thompson held the lead through the balance of Sunday until some unfortunate misses with the putter lead to some late bogeys. She made four bogeys on her back nine to fall just short at another major.
Minjee Lee was looking to win her second major of the year and finished tied for Thompson at 4 under. She was in the clubhouse about 30 minutes before the final group, but she ended up one shot behind Chun.
“I pretty much had my eye on the leaderboard the whole day,” said Lee, who lives in the same neighborhood as Chun. “I followed it pretty much every single hole when I could see it, so I knew exactly what position I was in.
“I gave it a good shot today.”
Pure Joy.#KPMGWomensPGA pic.twitter.com/6x9cmjT2Bn— KPMG Women's PGA Championship (@KPMGWomensPGA) June 26, 2022
The week was always going to belong to Chun, however.
And now she can bring her KPMG Women’s PGA Championship trophy back to her and Lee’s neighborhood in Dallas.
“I think our neighborhood is very excited because they have to major trophies now,” said Chun.
In Gee Chun re-wrote the record books after Thursday’s opener and held on over the remaining 54 holes for a deserved victory at the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
“Sometimes it’s really hard to keep smiling when my game is not going good. But I hung in there,” said Chun. “I’m so proud now.”