SEOUL (Reuters) - Jang Ha-na arrived back in Seoul on Monday after winning the HSBC Women’s Champions event at the weekend but the South Korean golfer had to face some awkward questions over an incident that left rival Chun In-gee unable to compete in Singapore.
Chun, the 2015 U.S. Open champion, suffered an injury to the muscles surrounding her tail bone and was forced to miss the LPGA tournament after a bag being carried by Jang’s father came crashing down an escalator at Singapore’s Changi Airport.
Korean media reported Jang’s father had lost hold of the 7kg carry-on bag as he watched his daughter tie a shoelace.
“I’m really sorry for what happened to Chun,” Jang told reporters at Incheon Airport. “I hope to see her at the next tournament.”
Jang’s second victory of the season lifted her five spots in the world rankings to number five, while Chun dropped two spots to eighth.
Both players are battling for a spot on South Korea’s team for the Rio Olympics.
While reports said Jang’s father apologised at the airport immediately after the incident, Chun said on her fan website that she had yet to receive a full apology.
“Neither myself nor my parents have received the apology that they claim to have made,” she said. “But their explanation is enough to dissolve any hard feelings. They must have done that because they thought they did something wrong.
“I’m okay, I’m already over it.”
Chun’s father was left furious at his daughter’s treatment.
Speaking to Korean media, he said: “Regardless of how the accident came about, there has been no proper apology from Jang’s side even though a player was left unable to compete in a tournament.”
Reporting Jee Heun Kahng; Writing by Peter Rutherford; Editing by John O'Brien