Go to contents

It is about time to cheer LPGA winnings

Posted April. 26, 2023 07:48,   

Updated April. 26, 2023 07:48


The victory at The Chevron Championship, the first major tournament of the LPGA Tour season that ended on Monday, went to Vietnamese-American Lilia Vu. There are six winners in the seven LPGA Tour events held this season, including this one. Vu reached the top at Honda Thailand in February, becoming the only one to achieve this year's most wins.

All six winners of this season are of different nationalities. Vu, Ko Jin-young of Korea, Brooke Henderson (Canada), Céline Boutier (France), Yin Ruoning of China, and Grace Kim of Australia are the champions this year. Unlike the PGA Tour, which American players lead as a men's tournament, the LPGA Tour is multinational. It is in line with the LPGA Secretariat's pursuit of a global tour.

However, the current situation may feel a bit foreign to many Korean fans. This is because just a few years ago, the LPGA Tour was dominated by Korean players. In 2019, Korean players lifted trophies in 15 out of 32 competitions, nearly half of them. Following 2015 and 2017, it is the tied record for Korean players' most wins in a season. Even in 2020 and 2021, when many competitions were not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Korean players won seven times each. Last year, however, they only managed to rack up four wins.

Compared to the past, Korean players' poor performance is attributed to the absence of golf stars following in the footsteps of Pak Se-ri, Shin Ji-ae, and Park In-bi. “Golf Queen” Park In-bi, who won 21 wins on the LPGA Tour, has not returned to the tour since last year. She recently gave birth to her daughter. Ko Jin-young, who was once world No. 1, struggled last year due to a wrist injury. Expectations are high for Ko as she reached the top of the HSBC Women's Championship in March, but the overall under-performance of Korean players is notable nonetheless. Ko (3rd) is the only Korean player in the top 10 in the women’s golf world rankings announced on Tuesday.

Heon-Jae Lee uni@donga.com