Cheng holds on for victory at 2022 Island Resort Championship

Ssu-Chia Cheng
Ssu-Chia Cheng(Epson Tour)
Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 11:36 PM EDT
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HARRIS, Mich. (WLUC) - Ssu-Chia Cheng added her name Sunday to the list of Island Resort Championship presented by Delta County Area Chamber of Commerce winners.

The Taiwan native earned her second career victory shooting a total of 17-under par, winning the tournament by six strokes.

“It definitely feels amazing to be winning a tournament, to be able to play some good golf out there today under stress and all the expectations from everybody and even myself,” said Cheng. “I was struggling with mental issues bothering me for the past few years, so this was a little step for me, and I’m definitely happy and feeling great.”

Cheng started her round strong with an eagle on No. 1 and kept her eyes on the prize, firing off five birdies throughout her round.

“Today I was playing pretty aggressive,” said Cheng. “I was trying to do my best out there, and I didn’t want to be holding back. That’s not good for me and not good for the game.”

She says she was feeling mentally tired around Nos. 16 and 17, which happened to be right after consecutive birdies on Nos. 15 and 16. Her plan stayed the same throughout all three rounds - stay away from the rough.

“I was really focused on my game plan,” said Cheng. “You don’t want to mess with all of the rough out here, so I was trying to hit as many fairways and greens as possible.”

While the win was a positive step for Cheng’s mental development, she remains focused on what she can do to show fans, especially young ones, what it means to be a professional golfer.

“I want to be not just be a good player, a good golfer, but to be a good person on and off the course,” said Cheng. “I want to show them this is a good job. You have a lot of ups and downs during your career, but I guess that’s the reason why I love it.”

Six strokes behind Cheng, in second place, was Jiwon Jeon. The Korean carded four birdies to sign for a 2-under 70, despite the wind.

“I was trying to be patient, trying to relax,” said Jeon. “There was a higher chance to make mistakes today, and I was trying not to do that. If I had a mistake, I played with that and if I had the opportunity to make a birdie, I had to do that, which I did.”

Jeon was successful in trying not to make mistakes, as she only carded two bogeys on the round. She said her back nine was where she started to pull ahead.

“Something clicked and I started to play well on the back nine,” said Jeon. “Overall, I’m very happy with what I had today, and I’m very proud of myself for staying present and being patient.”

A crowd of spectators gathered to watch Jeon’s last shot, a massive birdie putt, which made her heart race. Making that putt and finishing her round in second place marked Jeon’s first top-10 finish of her three-year professional career. It was also her first Epson Tour event.

“Being in second place is a really good accomplishment for me,” said Jeon. “I wasn’t really expecting the best this week, but I tried my best to keep myself on top near the lead. What I did today and this week, I was very, very proud, and I want to pat myself on the back.”

Haylee Harford, Michaela Finn, Clariss Guce and Emilee Hoffman shared third place at -10. Harford had the low round of the day at 6-under par, carding five birdies and an eagle on the round. Finn, Guce and Hoffman also recorded under-par rounds.

QUICK QUOTES Haylee Harford (-10, T3) on having the low round of the day:

“It feels really special. I’ve been having a little bit of a rough patch, so to come out here this week and shoot under-par each day, I was really happy with that. Today, I took it one hole at a time, and I got an eagle on 9, which really got me going.”

Clariss Guce (-10, T3) on shooting three under-par rounds:

“It was definitely hard out there, even putting. Putting was hard to judge, even the short ones, because it felt like the wind was taking it. It’s definitely a good feeling, especially because this is my sixth week in a row. Just to be able to finish well, I’ll definitely take that into a good off week and get ready for Albany.”

Michaela Finn (-10, T3) on her highest career finish to date:

“I was playing steady the whole week, and the fact that I finished T3 with a cold putter really showed me that I can win on this tour. I have lots to build on for the future and am excited for the rest of the season.”

ABOUT EPSON TOUR The Epson Tour (formerly the Symetra Tour) is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour and enters its 42nd competitive season in 2022. With the support of entitlement partner Seiko Epson Corporation, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best female professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. In the last decade, the Epson Tour has grown from 15 tournaments and $1.6 million in prize money to $4.41 million awarded across 20+ events in 2022. With more than 600 graduates and alumnae moving on to the LPGA Tour, former Epson Tour players have won 459 LPGA titles. Follow the Epson Tour at www.epsontour.com, as well as FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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