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Young Korean Golf Trio to Play Together at Evian Masters

Young Korean Golf Trio to Play Together at Evian Masters

Posted July. 26, 2007 03:32,   


“They may already know that we are inseparable,” said Shin Ji-ai (19), ranked at the top of this year’s KLPGA money list; Ahn Seon-ju (20) placed second on the same list.

Shin has won four championships this season and Ahn recorded three wins in KLPGA tournaments. They emulate each other as local competition leaders but in private they brag of close relationships within the “Hi-mart” family.

When Ahn Seon-ju finished the first at the MBC Tour Korea Golf & Art Village Open on the Gold Country Club on July 6, 2007, Shin Ji-ai personally appeared at the press conference, amiably asking Ahn for a celebratory treat. Indeed, they often dine together after finishing their major professional golf tours.

They take on the same pairing in the first and second rounds in their bid to win this week’s $3,000,000 Evian Masters.

According to paring lists announced on July 25, 2007, Shin, Ahn and Lee Seon-hwa are scheduled to tee-off at 4:49 PM (9:49 AM local time for the tournament site) on July 26, 2007. Lee Seon-hwa (21,CJ) captured first place at the 2007 HSBC Women’s World Match Play Championships, held from July 19-22.

Shin Ji-ai and Ahn Seon-ju also competed together at the final round of the Korea Art Village Open. Their duel did not stop there: they have faced-off in the same group twice since then.

Shin Ji-ai became the 2006 KLPGA tour Rookie of the Year and Lee Seon-hwa was named as the 2006 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year.

Lee, who challenges her second career championship, expressed her expectations, saying “It will be a meaningful start to round with two star players.”

“Ji-ai has always been close and comfortable to me but this is my first LPGA game so I feel a little nervous,” Ahn said with smile. “Despite its narrow fairways and deep rough, the golf course has small and undemanding greens, giving players more birdie opportunities.”

Michelle Wie, who was disgraced after frequently withdrawing from games, has been forced to take part in this tournament after missing two months due to back and neck injuries. Ahn said she saw Wie showing up at practice and playing 18 holes. “Wie looks perfectly fine. She is free to hit her drives as usual.” Meanwhile, Pak Se-ri, crusader of golf syndrome in Korea and Hall of the Famer, has decided not to take part in this tour in order to devote herself to next week’s RICOH Women`s British Open, the final LPGA major championship of the season.