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Rookie golfer Choi Hye-jin sweeps KLPGA Tour this season

Rookie golfer Choi Hye-jin sweeps KLPGA Tour this season

Posted July. 26, 2018 07:33,   

Updated July. 26, 2018 07:33


Among weekend golfers, calling someone a good player with modesty is one of the best compliments. Professional golfer Choi Hye-jin, who dominated the first half of LPGA of Korea Tour this season. She spoke modestly about her first-half performances.

Choi, who was known as a golf prodigy by winning two pro championships during her high school days, has swept top prizes in major sectors of the KLPGA Tour, which has completed 17 championships for the first half of this season – a great performance for a rookie.

The 19-year-old golfer is co-leading the season with two championship titles, ranking first in grand prizes, prize money with 577 million won (512,889 U.S. dollars), and scoring average with 69.77 strokes. She is far ahead of Han Jin-sun in the race for the Rookie of the Year prize. When Shin Ji-yai swept major prizes as a rookie in 2006, there were 16 championships for the whole season. KLPGA officials say that Choi’s stellar performances during this season with a total of 29 championships are “unprecedented.”

“I feel great as I have wrapped up the first half of my first regular season as a rookie,” Choi said. “I hope to show stable performance in the second half with greater confidence.”

Choi has no time to take it easy even there is no domestic championship for the next two weeks. She is scheduled to participate in the Lotte Golf Team’s joint training in Busan and Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province for three days from Wednesday. The Lotte Golf Team, which had five championship titles in total in the first half of this year, has gathered its players, including Choi, to conduct practice rounds, weight training and mental training.

Choi will leave for Britain on Saturday to participate in Women's British Open 2018, a major championship of the U.S. LPGA Tour, next week. Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump highly praised her after she finished No. 2 in the U.S. Women's Open Golf Championship. She also finished within the top 50 players in five LPGA Tour championships this year, including two top-10 finishes, without being eliminated.

Choi, ranking ninth in the world, the highest among KLPGA Tour players, says she is determined to keep on going toward her childhood goal of achieving the world’s top ranking and competing in the Olympics. Asked how she stays healthy in the hot weather, she said with a smile, “I’m still young. Eating well and sleeping well are the secrets.”

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com