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At Korea’s Only LPGA Event, Korean Win Streak Is On the Line

At Korea’s Only LPGA Event, Korean Win Streak Is On the Line

Posted October. 26, 2005 07:33,   


All the champions of the LPGA`s CJ Nine Bridges Classic (total prize money: $1.35 million) have been Koreans.

Korean golfers have maximized their abilities at CJ Nine Bridges Classic, the only LPGA tournament in Korea.

Pak Se-ri (CJ) was the first winner in 2002, Ahn Shi-hyun (Kolon) won in 2003, and Park Ji-eun (Nike Golf) won the championship cup last year.

It remains to be seen if the tradition will continue in this year’s competition at the Jeju Club at Nine Bridges.

Fifty LPGA players, the top 12 professional female golfers of Korea, and seven invited guests will participate in the tournament, which is in its fourth year, competing without cut-offs for three rounds.

Of the 69 players participating, 34 are Korean.

“We play our best in our mother country”-

Han Hee-won (Fila Korea), Kang Soo-yun (Samsung Electronics), Jang Jeong, Kang Ji-min (CJ), Kim Ju-yun (KTF), and Lee Mee-na, who have all won one victory each in this season’s LPGA tournaments, are trying to clinch their second win in their mother country. Park Ji-eun and Ahn Shi-hyun are still looking for their first tour victories of the year.

Players in Korea who hope to become the ‘second Cinderella” after Ahn Shi-hyun, who became a celebrity after winning the tournament, include Song Bo-bae (Superior) from Jeju, Park Hee-young (ISU Engineering and Construction), and Choi Na-yeon (SK Telecom).

Meanwhile, “Golf Empress” Annika Sorenstam (Sweden) came to Korea via Incheon International Airport on the morning of October 25 to prepare for the tournament early. Sorenstam, who has won eight tournaments out of the 17 she has participated in this year, said, “I am confident as I have played at this course twice before. I will try to win my 10th victory of the season by winning this tournament.”

LPGA Rookie of the Year Paula Creamer (United States), who is No. 2 in terms of prize money, will compete for her second Asian tournament victory after winning Japan’s Masters GC Ladies which ended on October 23. SBS and SBS Golf will broadcast Korea’s tournament live from October 28 to 30 with Pak Se-ri as commentator.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com