East Asia

South Korea’s Na Rin An wins HFG Championship 2020 after Autech Carrier Championship 2020

Jung-Tai Kim, Na Rin An

Jung-Tai Kim, Na Rin An

Na Rin An emerged victorious at the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Hana Financial Group (HFG) Championship 2020 on November 8, 2020 after she pulled ahead of her competition with a fantastic final round. She started the day tied for lead with Ha Na Jang and Min Ji Park but soon  surged ahead as the latter two struggled with the cold weather and strong wind.

HFG is the third largest financial group in South Korea by market capitalization. Its chairman Jung-Tai Kim presented the KLPGA HFG Championship 2020 trophy to An, who took home the prize money of KWR 300 million ($268,000).

It was the second win of An’s career. She won KWR 800 million ($717,400) from the first one, the Autech Carrier Championship 2020, which took place in Yeongi, South Korea from October 8-11, 2020.

An shot 1-under par for the final round. She won the championship with a total score of 280, 8-under par, which is three shots ahead of Jang, the runner-up.

With this win, An also moves up the KLPGA Player of the Year rank to eighth and for the 2020 money ranking to second. Here is an interview with the Korean golfer after her win:

 

You looked a little shaky on the final day of your first win even though you had a 10-shot lead.  However, you performed differently today and was really calm throughout. What were your  motivations for this tournament? 

For the Autech Carrier Championship last month, I was very nervous on the final round  since I didn’t have any experience in winning the tournament. I think that’s why my play didn’t  work out the way I wanted it to. However, I tried to focus more on my own game today and this worked out really well with a good  result.

Any strategies about the wind and cold weather? 

I’ve experienced a lot of tournament courses with strong wind for the past month and these  experiences helped me a lot in doing well at this championship.

You started playing golf from middle school and it’s been 10 years since you started playing golf. Is there any special secret to your growth? 

I started playing golf since September/October 2009. When I look back, I think I was very  diligent and sincere, trying to focus more on my work. There is nothing special about my golf  except the steady practice.

What were you thinking after your first bogey made at the 17th hole? 

Obviously, I made my first bogey today on the 17th hole, and I was nervous when I was  having the bogey putt. Anyway, I tried to focus on the game after that and thought to myself, “I  wish to go in the direction of losing with as few strokes as possible”. This turned out nicely with a great result.

 

What has changed for you this year from last year? 

Statistically, my record of greens in regulation improved. I’ve been changing my swings steadily and my body got used to it so I think this is the reason why my games are going well. Before changing my swings, the ball contacts were not constant, leading me to a low rate of  greens in regulation.

If you win the next tournament, you can win the title of “2020 KLPGA Tour Prize Money Winner”.  Do you think you can win this?  

It will be good for me to earn the title, but for the last tournament, I will focus on my game  and playing rather than to earn the tile.

Are you interested in playing overseas in other tours? 

I am keen on playing in overseas tours when I get the opportunity to do so. This is because I want to gain more experience. I want to develop my game further before venturing to play in an overseas tour.

Are you satisfied with your iron shots currently? 

I think I’m more satisfied with my iron shots at the Autech Carrier Championship last month rather than at this tournament. It was also very windy then but it was not really cold. However, at this tournament, the wind was very strong, and the weather was very cold. This led me to make  more missed shots.

 

What are your plans on using the prize money from this tournament? 

Last night, before the last round, I had chance to talk to my mom about a car. My mom  actually told me that she would buy the car for me if I win once more. Today I have won the  tournament so I will tell my mom that we can get a car.

What are your goals for the next tournament? 

I will try as hard as I can to get the best result possible by using up all my energy and power.

What is your driving force for the win? 

I would say it’s my family. I gain more power and strength through the support of my parents  and my younger sibling.

How would you like to be known as the player Na Rin An? 

Diligent and sincere golfer who works hard. A player who actively pursuits her own goal and successfully completes her own task and role.

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