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Park Sung-hyun to win LPGA Rookie of the Year award

Posted October. 20, 2017 07:56,   

Updated October. 20, 2017 08:56


Back in 2014 when she was a rookie of the KLPGA, Park Sung-hyun found herself distant from the prospect of winning a rookie award. She fell short on the 8th on the rookies point ranking, and it was Baek Gyu-jeong who eventually won the award after a close contest against Go Jin-young and Kim Min-seon.

Leaving behind the disappointing memories in the local stage, Park Sung-hyun is about to enjoy the honor that is given to a player only once in a lifetime for her LPGA Tour career. The LPGA Tour announced on Thursday that it is definitive that the 24-year-old Korean golfer will win the rookie award this year regardless of her performance in the remaining five competitions.

“I am very glad to have achieved one of my goals before season. It’s very special as you can get only one rookie award in your life, and I will make a further effort to become a better player,” said Park Sung-hyun, who is currently participating in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship.

According to the LPGA, Park will win the award with a margin that is third largest in history, following the records of Karrie Webb and Pak Se-ri.

Park will become the 11th South Korean female golfer to win an LPGA Tour rookie award, following Pak Se-ri (1998), Kim Mi-hyun (1999), Han Hee-won (2001), Ahn Si-hyun (2004), Lee Seon-hwa (2006), Shin Ji-ae (2009), Seo Hee-gyung (2011), Ryu So-yeon (2012), Kim Se-young (2015), and Chun In-gee (2016). The award ceremony will take place during the TOUR Championship 2017 in November.

Ranked No.1 in prize money and average, Park has won two competitions this season, and she is aiming at sweeping major titles including the Player of the Year award, which will make her the first player to achieve such feat since Nancy Lopez in 1979.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com