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Korean Leads LPGA Rookie Award Race

Posted April. 17, 2006 07:20,   


This season’s LPGA tour features a number of super rookies. Miyozato Ai, who scored six wins on the Japan tour last year, and Morgan Pressel, the winner of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship are two of the more noteworthy new faces.

But the newcomer generating the most buzz is Lee Seon-hwa (20, CJ). After becoming the highest prize winner in last year’s Futures Tour, Lee showed tremendous focus in the final round of Takefuji Classic held yesterday at Las Vegas Country Club, making five birdies in the last six holes and taking the second place (16 under par 200 strokes).

Of the six games she has participated in so far this season, this is her third second place win since Fields Open and Master Card Classic. Ranked third in prize money on the tour ($338,060), Lee is leading the rookie standings with 154 points more than Pressel.

Pak Se-ri (CJ), Kim Mi-hyeon (KTF), Han Hee-won (Fila Korea), and Ahn Shi-hyeon were the four Korean golfers who won the rookie award in the past. Lee Seon-hee is likely to be the fifth.

Kim Mi-hyeon, playing 53 consecutive holes without a single bogey, finished fifth (12 under par 204 strokes). Lorena Ochoa won her first season victory with a total score of 19 under par, 197 strokes.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com