ESPN, a global sports media outlet, recently predicted the winner of this year’s major tournament with the start of the new season of the LPGA tour. There was not a single Korean player on the list of candidates to win the five major tournaments. A Korean player who swept 11 victories in the “garden of victory” US Women’s Open was nominated for “long hitter” Lexi Thompson (28, USA).
In fact, last year’s performance was also unchanged. Jeon In-ji (29) of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship was the only Korean female golfer to lift the trophy at a major tournament. Even in non-majors, the number of times he won was only four. Can Korean female professional golfers, the world’s strongest ‘champions corps’, revive? Men, on the other hand, are thriving on American soil.
There were no Korean players in the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, the opening day of the LPGA Tour 2023 season, which opened on the 20th (Korean time). Only players who have won the LPGA Tour tournament over the past two years are eligible to participate in this tournament, but all eligible Korean golfers have decided not to participate. In 2019, Ji Eun-hee (37) became the first champion, and this is the first time that Korean players ‘not participating’. 메이저사이트
There are two reasons why no Korean players can be found. It was because the number of players who could participate decreased, and there were no players who wanted to participate. The first invited players were Park In-bi (35), Kim Hyo-joo (28), Ko Jin-young (28), Jeon In-ji, and Ji Eun-hee. It is the lowest ever in this competition. It means that Korean players have not been active for the past two years and the player base has become thinner.
The only Korean winners in the 2021 season were Jinyoung Ko, who won 5 wins alone, and Inbi Park, Hyojoo Kim. Last year, only four Korean players won the championship. On the other hand, in 2019, 11 Korean players were eligible to compete in the event, and 6 of them competed.
With no Korean players showing up, the record for consecutive LPGA tournaments unrelated has increased to 17. This is the highest record since the 17 consecutive events that lasted from October 2013 to June 2014.
The reason for the sluggish performance is that, like in the 2010s, the ‘big rookies’ that were pouring in like fire and water disappeared, and existing strong players such as Ko Jin-young suffered from various injuries. There is also an analysis that the corona effect was great. An official from Korean golfer management said, “As the movement was restricted due to corona, the players had difficulty adjusting their condition.”