Ha Na Jang won the 2019 BMW Ladies Championship on Sunday, two years after choosing to leave the LPGA Tour and return home to South Korea to be closer to her family and ailing parents.
The win, her fifth-career LPGA title, left her with a choice: remain at home and play on the Korean LPGA or once again take up LPGA membership and return to playing predominantly in the United States.
Jang got into this week's event based on her position on the KLPGA order of merit, and the only way this opportunity would present itself was with a win. Now she has until Nov. 18 to tell the LPGA if she would like to take up her reclaimed membership for the 2020 season.
She's uncertain what she'll do.
“As for going back to the LPGA, there’s a lot to discuss,” said Jang. “My mother is not quite well yet. I think I would have an answer for you regarding returning to the LPGA later on. I can’t say right now.”
Somewhat ironically, the 27-year-old Jang played the week with a hairline fracture in her foot, an injury which has hampered her in the latter stages of the year and forced her out of the last two KLPGA majors. Then she found herself locked in a Sunday jockey race with Danielle Kang, who won last week in Shanghai and is one of Jang's better mates from their shared time on the LPGA. On the third playoff hole, Kang's 20-foot birdie putt went begging, while Jang has a four-footer to take down the title.
“I knew I had to make it. I read the line the way I wanted to read it and hit the speed I wanted to hit and I stroked it, and if it goes in, it goes in and if it doesn't, it doesn't,” said Kang of her putt. “I'm not going to do anything different just to force a birdie. But no matter what, I have a birdie putt, I always want to make it. It just snapped and I didn't see that much of a break coming in but I think I was more cautious about the speed just in case.”
Racking up a pair of wins in the closing stages of the season, Jang now leads the KLPGA order of merit. She could run through the tour's season-long awards. However, with her fracture, Jang is going to take the week off and hope to recover a bit. The time off might give her the perspective she needs to make her choice for next season.
"Nobody really knows what the future holds, and I just hope that through this experience, I can grow," she said, "and so I don't really have any grandiose goals or anything that I want particularly, but I just hope to grow as a player."