As the Korean Women’s Professional Golf Tour (KLPGA) enters the final stages, one of the most popular professionals on the tour is in danger of losing her seed. That’s Park Kyul.
The 25-year-old has played in 25 tournaments this season, finishing in the top 10 once and failing to qualify 13 times.
However, she scored well for the first time in a long time at the Dongbu Construction & Korea Land Trust Championship, a new tournament held from October 14 to 17, and finished in a tie for 15th place. The tournament was played in the Stableford format instead of the existing stroke play, with 8 points for Albatross, 5 points for Eagle, 2 points for Birdie, 0 points for Par, -1 point for Bogey, and -3 points for Double Bogey or above.
In other words, if you can make a birdie or eagle, you can get a high score and move up quickly to the top. It was a lot of fun for the spectators to watch as the golf was more aggressive than usual.
Perhaps this style of competition suited him perfectly, as he scored 12 points on the first day, 13 points on the second day, 8 points on the third day, and 2 points on the last day, for a total of 35 points. Especially on the second day, he recorded 7 birdies and 1 bogey. Since the KLPGA Tour gives seedings for the following year to players ranked up to 60th on the money list, it will be a critical moment for Park Kyul.
The reason why she has attracted so much attention in Korea is not only because she has been a talented player since she was an amateur, but also because she is called the “Kim Tae-hee of the golf world” because of her neat face and resemblance to the top Korean actress Kim Tae-hee.
As an amateur, she made the national team in 2014 and won the gold medal in the individual competition at the Incheon Asian Games in the same year, competing against Japan’s national teammate at the time, Minami Katsu. As an amateur, he was also associated with Japan. At the time, she said, “I went to Japan for the first time.
“The first time I went to Japan was when I was 19 years old. The first time I went to Japan was for the World Amateur Golf Team Championship when I was 19 years old. I originally wanted to play on the U.S. Tour, but recently I have been attracted to the Japan Tour as well. If there is a chance, I want to go.
However, it is difficult to achieve results overseas unless you first develop your skills in Korea.
Park Kyul made his professional debut on the Korean Tour in 2003, and in his first year, he finished second twice, which made him an instant favorite to win the tournament. However, in ’16 and ’17, she finished 2nd once each, and although she was seeded for the money, she was unable to win. She finally came into the spotlight in ’18. “In 2006, she won the SK Network Seoul Keizai Ladies Classic for the first time on tour, and was ranked 14th on the money list, and was expected to make further progress.
However, in 2007, she was ranked 56th on the money list. Although she was seeded just in time, she may not have felt up to the challenge due to her poor golf, and she struggled to fight for the seedings in 2008, ranking 48th with only one top 10 finish. This season, he is ranked 69th, and is on the verge of reaching the 60th position for the prize money seed. With seven matches remaining, she will continue to be tested for the seedings.
Incidentally, every year, the KLPGA selects around 10 “public relations models” by popular vote of fans, and Park Kyul has been selected for five consecutive years until 2020. In the past, players who have played in Japan such as Lee Bomi, Kim Haneul, Ahn Shin Hye, and Yoon Chae Young have also been selected. Her tight and cute clothes are also attracting attention, but for Park Kyul, she wants a second victory, which she calls a “comeback victory.
He said, “Until now, the psychological aspect of the game has had a big impact on me, and I’ve been struggling. In the past, I’ve been affected by the psychological aspect of the race, especially the ranking. I’ve started to think about playing with ease and not feeling the pressure, and that may have contributed to the good results.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the matches.
Reporting and writing： Akira Kim (Sports Writer) Photo： KLPGA