Strong performance, including Pak Se-ri’s victory in 1998 This year, Kim Hyo-joo and Lim Jin-hee ranked 12th.

Hyoju Kim

At ​​the US Women’s Open, a major women’s golf tournament, a Korean player disappeared from the ‘top 10’ for the first time in 27 years.

At the 79th US Women’s Open Golf Tournament (total prize money: $12 million), which ended in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA on the 3rd (Korean time), the highest-ranking Korean players were Kim Hyo-joo and Lim Jin-hee, who tied for 12th place. .

Among the Korean players in the top 10 of this competition, Andrea Lee (USA) tied for 3rd place and Lee Min-ji (Australia) tied for 9th place, but no Korean player ranked in the top 10.

This year marks the first time in 27 years since 1997 that a Korean player has disappeared from the ‘top 10’ at the US Women’s Open.

Since Pak Se-ri won the championship with ‘barefoot fighting spirit’ in the 1998 tournament, Korean players have entered the top 10 at the US Women’s Open every year.

Entering the top 10 is not a problem, but following Se-ri Park, Joo-yeon Kim in 2005, In-bee Park in 2008 and 2013, Eun-hee Ji in 2009, So-yeon Ryu in 2011, Na-yeon Choi in 2012, In-ji Jeon in 2015, Seong-hyeon Park in 2017, Jeong-eun Lee in 2019, and A-rim Kim in 2020. The U.S. Women’s Open was a tournament that Korean players won particularly frequently.

Also, in 2017, Park Sung-hyun won, and as many as eight Korean players ranked in the top 10, leading to the saying, ‘It’s not the US Women’s Open, but the Korean Women’s Open.’

In this year’s competition, many Asian players were ranked in the top 10, including Yuka Saso (Japan) who won the championship.

Among the 11 players who tied for 9th place, 5 were Japanese, 3 were Thai, and 10, including Koreans Andrea Lee and Lee Min-ji, were of Asian nationality or descent.

The recent decline of Korean players on the LPGA tour is notable.

Since the start of this year’s season, Korean players have not won in 13 competitions. This is 10 years since Inbee Park earned her first win in the 14th tournament that opened in 2014.

In 2021 and 2023, Korean players have not won a single major tournament. The most recent major win by a Korean player is Jeon In-ji at the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Inbee Park stopped her tour activities after giving birth last year, and Jin Young Ko has also recently been struggling due to a wrist injury.

In addition, there is an analysis that the strength of Korean players on the American stage has lost strength as the powerhouses of the Korea Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) tour have become less advanced in the United States.

If this trend continues, only two Korean players may participate in women’s golf at this year’s Paris Olympics.

In women’s golf, as of the world rankings on June 24, a maximum of four players from a country can participate among the top 15 players, and from the ranks below that, the quota is limited to two players per country.

Korean women’s golf had four players each participate in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro and 2021 Tokyo tournaments.

However, only two players, Ko Jin-young (7th) and Kim Hyo-joo (10th), are currently within the top 15 in the world rankings. Only if Yang Hee-young, ranked 19th, and Ji-ae Shin, ranked 20th, enter the top 15, four people will be able to participate in this year’s Paris Olympics. 한국야동

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