Hong Wins in Korea Creamer Ties for Sixth

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2006 Kolon Hana Bank ChampionhipGYEONGJU, South Korea -- Jin Joo Hong closed with a 2-under 70 on Sunday to win the KOLON-Hana Bank Championship by three strokes.
 
Hong, a member of the Korean LPGA Tour, was making her first career start on the LPGA Tour. Despite a double bogey on the final hole, she finished at 11- under-par 205.
 
She became the second straight Korean LPGA member, and third in five years, to win this title. Hong earned $202,500 for the win, as well as non-exempt status on the LPGA Tour for 2007 and exempt status for 2008.
 
'I haven't thought about it, yet,' said Hong of the potential of playing in the United States. 'I thought about going to Japan because my mother lives in Japan and we haven't lived together for a long time. I will make that decision after I come back from Japan.'
 
Jeong Jang, who tied for fourth in this event the last two years, shot a 4-under 68 to finish alone in second place at minus-8. Se Ri Pak, the 2002 champion, closed with the low round of the day. Pak fired a 5-under 67 Sunday to take third place at 6-under-par 210.
 
Ji-Yai Shin (68) and Karine Icher (72) shared fourth place at minus-5. Paula Creamer, who was the highest-ranked player in the field, ended alongside amateur Mi Jung Hur and 2005 champ Jee Young Lee at 4-under-par 212.
 
Hong got her round going with a 9-foot birdie putt on the par-4 second. She parred four in a row before draining an 18-foot birdie effort on the seventh at Mauna Ocean Golf & Resort.
 
The Korean birdied the par-5 eighth for the third straight round to get to 12 under. Hong stumbled to a bogey at the next however. She made the turn at minus-11, four strokes clear of Jang.
 
Hong did little to harm her chances at claiming her first win around the turn. After three pars, she converted a 6-foot birdie try on the 13th and was six ahead of the field.
 
She poured in a birdie at 17 to get to minus-13. Hong closed with a double bogey, but it was more than enough for her first tour win.
 
'I am very happy. It wasn't that easy throughout the game, but I am glad that I made it,' stated Hong through a translator.
 
Jang, the 2005 Women's British Open champ, parred the first five holes. She collected back-to-back birdies from the sixth to move to minus-6.
 
She picked up another birdie at the 10th, but gave that stroke back with a bogey on 12. Jang claimed second place thanks to birdies on 16 and 17.
 
With her second-place finish and $125,817 pay check, Jang became the ninth player on the LPGA to go over the $1 million mark this season.
 
'I was five strokes back from the leader and that's pretty tough,' Jang admitted. 'She was playing 4-under or 5-under and she had good conditions, I didn't think I was going to break her today. So, my goal was to get over $1 million.'
 
Gloria Park, who shared second place at this event in 2003, closed with a 71. She was joined in ninth place at 3-under-par 213 by Suzann Pettersen (73). Soo-Yun Kang and Na Yeon Choi were one stroke further back at minus-2.
 
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