Posted March. 23, 2016 07:30,
Updated March. 23, 2016 07:38
“I am nervous every time I check the new weekly world rankings. I believe other players would feel the same way,” said LPGA player Yang Hee-young during her short visit to Korea for sponsorship contract. Her words reflect the heated competition among Korean LPGA players to get the ticket to the Rio Olympics to be held in August.
The rankings released on Tuesday placed Park In-bee at the second spot while Kim Se-young was pulled up from the 7th place to the 5th, followed by Jang Hana (6th) and Yang Hee-young (7th). Only up to four players per nation can join the national team for the Olympics, which is why Korean female golfers are particularly sensitive their rankings lately.
Korean golfers took seven spots of the recent LPGA top 15 chart. The competition among them is likely to get fiercer until July 11, when the final crew will be determined.
The early LPGA stage of this season seems to be dominated by young Koreans who made it to the professional tour just last year. Jang has already won two games, while Kim Se-young and Kim Hyo-ju won a game each. The three youngsters were the winners of a total of four games won by a Korean this season.
“I came all the way to the LPGA tour to join the Olympic team,” said Kim Se-young, who has never been below the line so far this year.
Park In-bee’s recent slump made the competition even harsher. She had been cited as the priority to join the team. Earlier this year, Park In-bee’s ranking point was 5.32 points higher than Yoo So-yeon. As of Tuesday, Park is only 2.95 points ahead of Kim Se-young (6.20). But given that Park is known as a slow-starter, she is expected to recover her pace around April. If Park reclaims the top, only three spots will be empty. The path to Rio definitely seems to be rough.