Sung Yu-jin, will he win twice in Hawaii following the Lotte Open?

Sung Yu-jin (23) tied for 3rd on the first day of the LPGA Tour Lotte Championship (total prize money of 2 million dollars), challenging to win the same host event after Korea.

In the first round of the tournament held on the 13th (Korean time) at Hoakalay Country Club (par 72, 6573 yards) in Ewa Beach, Oahu Island, Hawaii, USA, Eugene Seong tied 5 birdies and 1 bogey to hit 4 under par 68. With a 6-under par, she is two strokes behind the co-leaders Frida Kinhult (Sweden) and Nata Krita Wongta Wirap (Thailand), and is tied for third with defending champion Hyo-Joo Kim (28).

Seong Yu-jin, who was invited to this tournament by winning her first career win in her 73rd appearance four years after her debut at the Lotte Open of her Korea Women’s Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour in June of last year, played in unfamiliar Hawaiian weather. and propagated on the grass. Seong Yu-jin, who started in the last group on the 10th hole in the second half and made her first birdie on the 16th hole, continued her upward trend with a birdie on the first hole of the second half.

Seong Yu-jin, who won her first win at the Lotte Open in June last year [Picture = KLPGA]

After exchanging 5th and 6th holes for birdies and bogeys, she added birdies on the 7th and last 9th holes, rising to the top of the leaderboard. On this day, the average driving distance of driver shots was 267 yards and the number of putts was 28메이저놀이터. He missed 4 of 18 greens, but got over the crisis well with a short game.

In an interview the day before the tournament, he asked why he came to the big stage despite having a domestic tour schedule in Korea. Seong Yu-jin said, “I never thought about not coming out because Lotte gave me a good opportunity,” and “I decided to participate because I thought it would be a good experience in my future tour life.”

He is already in his third overseas tournament. He competed in the US Women’s Open, the world’s largest major, and the BMW Ladies Championship held in Korea, but this is the first time in Hawaii.

What are the differences between the course and culture of the domestic KLPGA and the LPGA Tour? “The fact that the caddy can enter the practice green, and not only the caddy but also the manager, coach, and parents can enter the course during the practice round seems to be a very free atmosphere. The characteristic of the course is that it is an island, so the wind always blows a lot.”

Seong Yu-jin is playing a tee shot at the 14th hole. [Photo = Daeheung Communications]

The experience of challenging the world’s best stage in terms of prize money and scale nurtured his dream. Sure enough, he said, “If I get a chance, my goal is to advance to the LPGA tour within two years.” But not all players are like that. When I asked if there were many players who wanted to leave the Korean stage and go on a big tour, the answer came back, “I think there are more players who want to settle down in Korea.”

Recently, the KLPGA eased the previous rule of limiting participation in three overseas tours with overlapping schedules in Korea. I asked if it would actually help players to participate in overseas tours, but it was not a complete affirmation. “I don’t know. Other than that, there doesn’t seem to be any rules related to the LPGA.”

Going one step further, when I asked for opinions on the recent decline in the number of Korean players on the LPGA Tour, I did an in-depth analysis. “First of all, it seems that there is a point that my generation players do not go to the United States as much as my older sisters’ generation, and I think the fact that foreign players have improved a lot is a big factor,” she replied.

He continued, “I think there were regulations for participating in the KLPGA, but now that the regulations have been eased, I think many players will consider entering the US.” I will be able to get a win,” he

Lotte-sponsored player Hwang Yu-min reduced two strokes in the first round to tie for 11th place

. Kim Hyo-joo, who is defending her title, tied for 3rd place with Seong Yu-jin with 8 birdies and 4 bogeys. LPGA Tour rookie Yoo Hae-ran (21), Park Keum-gang (22), and KLPGA Tour player Hwang Yu-min (20), who participated as a sponsor invited player, are tied for 11th place at 2 under par. Park Seong-hyun tied for 21st (1 under par), and Choi Hye-jin tied for 38th (even par).

Wongtawi Lap, who showed his presence with an extraordinary long hit at Honda Thailand last February, stood out on this day as well. He showed flawless play with 1 eagle and 4 birdies without bogey.

The second round will be broadcast live on JTBC Golf from 7:45 am on the 14th.


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