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Park In-bee, Kim Hyo-joot to compete in Evian Championship

Park In-bee, Kim Hyo-joot to compete in Evian Championship

Posted September. 09, 2015 07:06,   


It might be the kind of feeling that you would have when you visit the school library at dawn ahead of a final exam, only to find the entrance to the library remains shut? "Golf empress" Park In-bee (27) faced such a situation in recent days.

Park departed way before the event on Saturday to participate at the Evian Championship, the LPGA tour’s last major event for this season that opens on Thursday at the Evian Masters Golf Club (par 72) in Évian-les-Bains, France. She set her schedule to have adequate time onsite to overcome jet lag and regain good physical condition, but a very unfortunate situation occurred unexpectedly. When she was flying from Charles-de-Gaulle Airport, a stopover in France, to her final destination, Geneva Airport in Switzerland, her golf bags were not loaded in her flight. Park said, “I heard there was an error in airport systems. Usually, freight is delivered to the passenger via the next flight, but it took three days this time,” sighing deeply.

Due to lack of golf clubs, Park could not practice properly. After receiving her clubs, she started training on Tuesday. She said, “Big concern has been eased. I usually play nine holes ahead of a competition, but I will have to practice somewhat differently this time. My physical condition is relatively good, and I think if I prepare well until the championship, I will sort things out and have a chance.”

Park acquired the title of four major PGA championships to achieve hear "Career Grand Slam" by winning the British Open last month. However, some say that she must achieve ‘Super Career Grand Slam’ by also winning the title of the Evian Championship, which was promoted to a major event recently.

Park won the Evian Championship in 2012, but this tournament was not a major event at that time. At the time, Park received the champion’s trophy for the first time after embarking on a tour together with then her swing coach Nam Ki-hyup, who is now his husband, after struggling without winning a title for four years. Park expressed her enthusiasm about the upcoming event, saying “Controversy over my Grand Slam aside, I want to recall the good memories at this event.”

Kim Hyo-joo, who is aiming for her second consecutive win in the championship, is also drawing keen attention. She won the championship last year, when she was not an official member of the LPGA tour, and as a result, directly debuted in the ‘Big League.’ This season, Kim ranks second by a gap of 56 points after No. 1 Kim Se-young in the rankings for the Rookie of the Year Awards of the LPGA tour. The winner of a major championship is granted 300 points, double the score accorded to the winner of an ordinary championship.

“I have new feeling because I am participating at the event as an LPGA member. Since the course is so tough, I will play safe, before seeking an opportunity to win the title,” Kim said.