By NEVILLE IDOUR
Wakatipu junior golfer Sumin Kang showed why she’s Otago’s no.1 last Saturday, taking out the South Island under-16 title at Otago Golf Club’s Balmacewen course, in Dunedin.
With scores of 72, 76, 73, for a total of 221, she scored two shots better than the U19 winner.
Kang, who’s been playing the interprovincials since she was 12, loves the competition and hung tough in the difficult cold and wet conditions on the final day.
Sitting third at the start of the day, five shots off the lead, she played with excellent control to be one under par and two shots clear after 13 holes with the overnight leader having fallen apart.
But an inexplicable out of bounds on 14 led to a triple bogey and one shot behind Rianne Li (Akarana).
Kang rebounded with a birdie on the difficult 15th, an uphill par 3, to tie the lead.
They traded pars on 16 and 17, then came the drama on the testing uphill 18th.
Li’s approach shot landed on the edge of the green and rolled about 12 metres downhill to leave a difficult chip.
Kang didn’t take advantage, leaving her shot short in the bunker.
Li chipped eight feet past the hole while Kang hit a superb shot to within three feet.
Li narrowly missed her putt and Kang sank hers for a one-shot win.
‘‘I was confident with my bunker shot but I was nervous about my putt,’’ she says.
Another Wakatipu junior, Yoonae Jeong, 12, posted a remarkable 72 to grab fourth place,
while in the U19s Jan Ebbinge finished 14th and Liam Judkins 17th.
In the U16s, Nicolas Cheifetz finished 7th and Noah Novacek was 9th.