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Korean sisters to play at LPGA tour

Posted December. 09, 2014 06:46,   


Park Hee-young who plays on the LPGA tour will meet a precious companion starting new year. Her younger sister Park Ju-young will leave KLPGA to play at LPGA in 2015.

At the LPGA Qualifying School finals that ended at the Daytona Beach golf club in Florida Monday, the younger Park completed at joint 11th (six under-par, 354 shots), winning the participation right for all 2015 season games. The top 19 players were qualified. The younger Park will join the "Big" league following her elder sister who made two wins after joining the LPGA tour in 2008. It is the first time for Korean sisters to join the LPGA tour simultaneously. Song Na-ri and her twin sister Song A-ri, Koreans who were born in Thailand, previously played on the LPGA tour together.

Park Hee-young, who is currently staying in Korea for knee rehabilitation, said, "I barely slept to root for my sister. I`m very proud of her. She can count on me from now. I hope she can learn and experience more at the global stage." The younger Park said, "My family kept me from advancing into the U.S., but my sister herself registered for the Qualifying School on behalf of me and encouraged me."

A previous long jumper, the younger sister started golf in eighth grade charmed by her sister playing golf. The elder sister said, "She has a long hit (average 262.7 yards at KLPGA, ranking fourth), and so can perform well in U.S. courses that have few out of bounds. She needs to adapt to other areas like grass and English." The younger said, "I believe we can get together more often since we will play in the same tour. I felt that I need to strengthen physical capability."

The sisters belong to a family of athletes. Their father Park Hyung-sup was a tennis player. He graduated physical education department at Seoul National University and is currently professor of sports training at Daelim University. His best golf score is 66 hits recorded at Namseoul Country Club. Their grandfather , Park Gil-jun, was Korea`s national gymnastic (ring) player, and is a veteran at the sports sector as he was professor of physical education at Seoul National University and dean at Dong-A University. He was a single golfer. The sisters` late maternal grandfather Han Jung-ho was champion at Hanyang Country Club and was master of handicap 5.

The sisters will stay in Korea for year-end before joining training at Orlando, Florida for preparations for the next season.

Long hitters Jang Ha-na and Kim Se-young obtained tour tickets by jointly ranking sixth (seven under-par). Amateur Kim Su-bin also ranked joint 11th. The number of Korean rookies who obtained full seed for the new year stood at six including Kim Hyo-joo and Paik Kyu-jeong who grabbed ticket for direct participation. Lee Min-ji who lives in Australia ranked No. 1 (10 under-par) along with Alison Lee living in the U.S. Cheyenne Woods, niece of ranked joint 11th and obtained the ticket to LPGA tour. Thailand`s Ariya Jutanugarn also was qualified to play with her elder sister Mori. Duke University graduate Laetitia Beck will join LPGA tour as the first Israeli.