Kim Soo-ji (27, Dongbu Engineering & Construction), the winner of last year’s KLPGA Tour Grand Prize, declared a “return of the tide” by lifting the trophy at the Hanwha Classic, the first major tournament in the second half of the year. Kim Soo-ji said, “I had a hard time enough to think if I could win.” “Now that I’ve won, I’ll aim for multiple wins,” he said with confidence.
As he is called the “Queen of Autumn” after winning all five of his career wins in the fall, he is likely to lead the competition for the second half of the year. Ahead of the KG Ladies Open, which won her first victory on the regular tour, Kim Soo-ji did not hide her desire to win for the second consecutive week, saying, “It’s a competition I’ve been waiting for,” adding, “I practiced a lot at Sunning Point where the competition is held.”
Park Min-ji (25, NH Investment & Securities), who is heading for her 20th career win, is also aiming to add a multiplier in the second half of the year. Having won 18 games, the most wins in active duty, he has already won two games this year. Since these two wins have been won in the title defense match, expectations for additional championships in the second half of the year are bound to rise.
During the second half of the tournament, the Hite Jinro Championship (total prize money of 1.2 billion won), which will open on October 5, and the SK Shielders and SK Telecom Championship (total prize money of 1 billion won), will be held as title defense. Park Min-ji said, “Looking back on when I won six games in the season, I also failed to make the cut six times. Before winning multiple games, I didn’t think about winning directly, but at one point, I thought, “How can I do my best if I don’t aim for the championship?” “Since then, I have been participating in the competition with the mind of ‘winning.'”
Of course, Park Min-ji is still one of the favorite candidates to win, although her performance is fluctuating because she cannot play in the best condition every day.
Lee Ye-won (20, KB Financial Group), who is considered the next generation’s “mainstream” in the Rookie of the Year award last year, is also aiming to add a multiplier in the second half of the year. Lee Ye-won is evenly active, with 396 points, first place in prize money (KRW 893,384,197) and second place in average at-bats (70.57) (as of the 29th). Although he is not an explosive slugger, he passed the cut in all 19 tournaments he participated in this year and was named in the top 10 eight times, including two wins.
“I like competitions in the mountainous terrain,” said Lee Ye-won, who expressed confidence in the accuracy of the shot. “I’m dreaming of becoming a major champion in the main sponsor competition.” The KB Financial Star Championship (total prize money of 1.2 billion won) will be held in Blackstone Icheon for four days from the 7th of next month, and Lee Ye-won will skip this week’s competition to supplement his physical strength and shot. This means that he has a strong will to become a major champion.
This year’s KLPGA Tour caught the attention of rookies such as Hwang Yoo-min (20, Lotte), Bang Shin-sil (19, KB Financial Group), and Kim Min-byul (19, Hite Jinro). Entering the second half of the year, “traditional powerhouses” have begun to gain strength, and competition for various titles as well as championship competition is fierce. This is why interest in the KLPGA Tour has not decreased until the end of the season 먹튀검증