Stephanie Meadow secures top-10 finish at KPMG PGA Championship as In Gee Chun holds on for third Major title

by | Jun 26, 2022 | 0 comments

Stephanie Meadow (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

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Stephanie Meadow secured her first top-10 finish at a Major since the 2014 US Open as she secured a share of 10th at the KPMG PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club, where In Gee Chun claimed her third Major title.

The Galgorm touring professional looked to be on for a tough round when she bogeyed three of her first seven holes to fall over par, but she recovered with two birdies and one more bogey for a closing two-over 74 in Bethesda.

At level-par for the week, Meadow ended the tournament tied for 10th, ending a run of 20 Major appearances without a finish better than 19th and a significant confidence boost for the remainder of the season.

The 30-year-old has jumped up to 60th in the Race to CME Globe standings with this result, which gives her some breathing room when it comes to retaining her card for next season as she bids to lock up her place on the LPGA Tour before the final event.

Cavan’s Leona Maguire, meanwhile, could only match Meadow’s 74 in her final round to fall to nine-over-par for the tournament, which saw her finish tied-54th, her worst result at a Major since she missed the cut at the 2020 Open.

The 27-year-old was unable to card a birdie in her final round, but she kept the mistakes off the scorecard for the most part as two bogeys was all the damage on her scorecard.

The week belonged to Chun, though, who, despite carding back-to-back rounds of 75 over the weekend, had enough of a buffer at the halfway stage to add the PGA Championship to the 2015 US Open and 2016 Evian Championship titles.

Chun ended the week five-under-par, one shot clear of Lexi Thompson and Minjee Lee, however it was far from straightforward for the Korean, who managed to blow her three-shot overnight lead in the opening four holes.

Thompson picked up birdies at the par-four first and par-four third to move to seven-under, while Chun bogeyed the par-three second and par-four fourth, and it looked like she was on a catastrophic freefall as she added two more bogeys at the two par-fives on the front nine, the sixth and ninth, to turn in 40 and having fallen back to four-under.

Thompson’s lead was two shots heading to the back nine after she bogeyed the par-three seventh, and the two players matched each other shot-for-shot as they both birdied the par-five 11th and bogeyed the par-four 12th.

But as Chun finally steadied the ship and played her final six holes in one-under with a birdie at the par-five 16th, Thompson collapsed to another Major heartbreak, bogeys coming at the 14th, 16th and 17th – along with a birdie at the 15th – to drop one shot behind.

The 27-year-old could have forced a play-off if she had birdied the final hole, but a par handed Chun a title that was well deserved for how hard she had to fight on the back nine.

Current Evian and US Open champion Lee came within one shot of adding a third Major to her resume, five birdies and three bogeys leading to a two-under 70 and a share of second with Thompson at four-under-par, with Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul claiming fourth at three-under after a closing 72.

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