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Ryu Hae-ran wins the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament

Posted December. 13, 2022 07:44,   

Updated December. 13, 2022 07:44


Ryu Hae-ran, a former Korean Women’s Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour rookie, passed the LPGA Qualifying Series (Q Series) as the top scorer and will continue her journey to win the spot in the LPGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year.

The 21-year-old Korean golfer reduced four more strokes with six birdies and two bogeys and took first place with a final total of 29 under par 545 strokes on Sunday in the final 8th round of the Q Series held at Dothan Highland Oaks Golf Course, Alabama, the U.S. Bailey Tardy of the United States, who placed second, was beaten by two strokes. Following Ahn Na-rin last year, Ryu embraced the joy of being recorded as the top Korean player for two consecutive years. It is the 7th time that a Korean player has won first place in the Q Series, starting with Pak Se-ri (then tied for first place) in 1997, followed by Choi Hye-jung, Kim In-kyung, Song A-ri, and Lee Jeong-eun.

The Q Series, where a total of 100 golfers participate, has eight rounds of intensive matches over two weeks. After Week 1, only the top 70 players will be eligible to compete in Week 2. The top 20 finalists will be allowed to participate in the LPGA Tour next year. Ryu earned an opportunity to play in the Q Series as she is within the top 75th place in the world rankings. She is currently ranked 50th in the world.

Ryu now secured de-facto opportunities to play in every match by winning the first position. She is considered one of the most promising rookies of the next year’s LPGA. No Korean player has won the Rookie of the Year since Lee Jeong-eun, AKA ‘Hot Six’ in 2019. "It has not been a while since I finished my rookie life on the Korean stage, so it is still familiar to be treated like that in the LPGA tour again,” Ryu said. “It means a lot to me that I can play in the world’s best tour, and I'm proud to have won first place in the match.”

She won a silver medal in the team event at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games as a national team member, won the KLPGA Tour Jeju Samdasoo Masters match as an invited player in 2019 while playing on the second league tour of the association, and entered the tour the following year.

Hong-Gu Kang windup@donga.com