In Gee Chun Shatters Records at the 2016 Evian Championship

In Gee Chun was already a major championship winner when she arrived in France for the 2016 Evian Championship. Now that it's over, Chun is not only a 2-time major winner, she's the holder of a couple of all-time records.

Chun won the 2016 Evian by four shots over runners-up and countrywomen So Yeon Ryu and Sung Hyun Park. But it's her eye-popping final score that is, well, popping eyes. Chun finished at 21-under 263.

How good is that? Consider this:

  • In Gee is the first golfer ever - male or female - to win a major championship at 21-under par. Her score is two strokes lower than the previous record (Dottie Pepper's 19-under at the 1999 Kraft Nabisco) for an LPGA major.
  • And her 263 total lowers the all-time LPGA score record for majors by four strokes. That breaks a record (267) set way back in 1992 by Betsy King.
That's good stuff!

In Gee's first victory in a major was at the 2015 U.S. Women's Open. And her total there (272) shares the USWO's all-time scoring record. When In Gee Chun wins, she does it in style.

Esther Lee Cards Record Score En Route to College Victory

It's not always easy to follow up a record-setting round of golf. There's nowhere to go but up - as in higher scores - after all. But Esther Lee made it work.

Lee tied the all-time women's NCAA 18-hole scoring record in the first round of the Dick McGuire Invitational tournament, then added two more sub-70 scores to win the event hosted by the University of New Mexico.

Lee, a senior on the University of Colorado squad, opened the 54-hole tournament with a round of 61. That tied the NCAA record first set by Stanford's Mariah Stackhouse. In Lee's case, it was 11-under par, establishing a new record for score in relation to par for 18 holes.

Lee shot 69 in the second round 68 in the final round, finishing at 18-under 198 and winning by five strokes. That 54-hole total represents a new school record.

Esther earned her first victory in her sophomore season at Colorado, a year in which she had 10 Top 20 finishes overall. She was named to the All-Pac 12 team, an honor she repeated for the 2015-16 year when she recorded six Top 10 finishes.

Texas Tech's Gabby Barker Wins Opener

At the end of the 2015-16 college golf season, Gabby Barker won her conference's Player of the Year Award. At the beginning of the 2016-17 college season, Barker has won the season-opening tournament.

Barker's junior season on the Texas Tech University women's golf team began with a bang on Tuesday - a victory in the Red Raider Invitational in Lubbock. Barker carded rounds of 70, 73 and 71 to finish at 2-under 214 on the tough, windswept Rawls Course. That included a 34 over her final nine, good for a 1-stroke victory over Iowa's Jessica Ip.

Gabby, from Caldwell, Idaho, and a member of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribe, won the Big 12 Women's Golf Player of the Year award last May following her sophomore season. She was the first golfer ever from Texas Tech to claim that award. Her 2015-16 season included a victory at the Betsy Rawls Invitational, one of the biggest tournaments of the NCAA year.

(Photos via gabby_rbarker/Instagram)

I.K. Kim Wins the Ladies European Masters

In-Kyung Kim - better known these days simply as I.K. - is a winner again on the Ladies European Tour. Kim scorched the golf course for a 63 in the final round to run away with the 2016 edition of the Ladies European Masters.

The LEM has been played seven times since 2000, and Kim is the first golfer to win it twice. She previously won in 2014.

Kim carded eight birdies - four on the front nine, four on the back nine - against zero bogies in her final round of 63. She finished at 17-under 271. That was five strokes better than the runner-up, Belen Mozo, and six ahead of the golfers tied for third place, Sandra Gal and Camilla Lennarth.

This is I.K.'s third overall victory on the LET; in addition to her previous win in the LEM, she also won the 2009 Dubai Ladies Masters. Kim also has three wins on the LPGA Tour, but none since 2010.

Clutch Cheyenne Woods Keeps Her LPGA Card

Cheyenne Woods saved one of her most consistent LPGA performances of 2016 for last, and it helped ensure she keeps her card for the 2017 season.

She gave herself a deserved pat on the back via Instagram:

There are more LPGA events coming before 2016 ends, and Cheyenne might get into one or two of them. But the Manulife LPGA Classic was the last full-field tournament and, as such, it was the cut-off point for golfers trying to finish inside the Top 100 on the money list. Only those golfers retain full playing privileges for next year.

And Woods entered the Manulife at No. 100 on the money list. Bubble girl. Had Cheyenne had a poor tournament and dropped even one place, it would be back to Q-School.

But she didn't, she came up clutch with four consistently good rounds: 69-72-69-70. She finished tied for 36th, good for a check worth $9,523. That pushed Woods' season earnings to $91,970, and moved her up three spots to 97th.

A sigh of relief from Cheyenne's legion of fans, and we're very happy she'll have a full slate of tournaments in 2017. (And don't be surprised if she improves significantly on that 97th-place finish next year.)

Nelly Korda Makes Her First Symetra Tour Win a Big One

Nelly Korda nabbed her first victory on the Symetra Tour on Sunday at the Sioux Falls GreatLife Challenge. She did it with a final-round 66.

Korda is in her first year as a professional golfer and played her first Symetra Tour tournament in February. Since then, she's had numerous good showings that include a pair of fourth-place showings, a seventh and a ninth. Plus multiple other Top 20 finishes. There were a few missed cuts along the way, too, but overall it was already a darn good rookie year as a pro for Nelly.

And now she's a winner. Nelly entered the final round trailing third-round leader Wichanee Meechai by one stroke. Her round of 66 gave her a final winning margin of three over Meechai, who closed with a 70. Korda finished at 14-under 270.

Korda's final round included six birdies against only one bogey, including back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15 that gave her a cushion heading down the stretch.

It was a great time for Korda to notch a victory, too, in the tournament that has the tour's second-largest purse ($210,000). Korda entered the GreatLife Challenge with $25,816 in earnings, in 27th place on the tour's money list. The Top 10 at the end of the year earn LPGA privileges for 2017, which would mean Nelly joining big sister Jessica Korda.

Nelly's first-place check of $31,500 pushes her season total to $57,316, which jumps her into that Top 10. There are five tournaments remaining on the 2016 Symetra Tour schedule.