Jenny Bae Wins the Hartford HealthCare Women’s Championship in Seven Hole Playoff
The final round of the Hartford HealthCare Women’s Championship has come to a close. After play was suspended on Sunday, the field took to the course Monday morning to finish their final rounds. The conditions were prime for the athletes who were a few shots back to make a run at the lead, and a few of them tried. However, after the long weekend of golf, the Epson Tour was finally able to crown a champion in Milford after a seven-hole playoff.
In her second career Epson Tour start, Jenny Bae secured her first Epson Tour victory at the 2023 Hartford HealthCare Women’s Championship in a thrilling playoff. Early in the round, the moment seemed too big for Bae, who made two bogeys in her first seven holes. The round shifted for the rookie on No. 8 when she made an eagle on the par 5. She would then birdie two of the following three holes to get to -2 for her round, and she would stay at -2 for the rest of the day and finish the tournament at -11. Bae would head into a three-way playoff with her two playing partners for the day, Minji Kang and Ssu-Chia Cheng. Cheng would exit the playoff after a bogey on the first extra hole, while Bae and Kang would battle on for six more holes. The pair traded pars until Bae finally made a tournament-winning birdie after hitting her approach shot to 8 feet.
“Overall, my round today went really well,” said Bae. “Everything just kind of clicked, especially in the last seven-hole stretch in the playoff. I was a bit nervous at first, but I eased into it and told myself it is just another nine holes, and I just feel really satisfied.”
The 21-year-old made her Epson Tour debut at the Inova Mission Inn Resort & Club Championship, missing the cut by five shots. The shift from college golf to professional golf is a big shift that many players are not ready for. Bae has had a decorated amateur career, finishing runner-up at the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur and winning the 2023 Juli Inkster Award as the top female collegiate golfer in their final season of eligibility, to name a few. Even with the accolades, Bae felt the nerves when teeing it up in May for the first time, but not to worry, the University of Georgia alumna is a quick study, and she now finds herself in the winner’s circle as a professional, which not many of her peers can say.
“Your college and amateur careers are so much different than playing as a professional,” said Bae. “My first tournament definitely helped me; it was a great experience. It gave me a chance to get the feeling of how professional tournaments actually work. I think my win here is a checkpoint for me to know I have the game to be out here.”