The United States Golf Association (USGA) has excluded Korea from the golf courses hosting the qualifying round for this year’s US Women’s Open for the first time in 10 years.먹튀검증
For this tournament, which will be held at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California from July 6, the USGA will hold 36-hole qualifiers at 23 golf courses in the United States and three overseas locations in Canada, Japan, and Belgium from May 9 to June 7. announced that it would open
The USGA did not disclose the reason for excluding Korea this year. The Korean Golf Association (KGA) explained, “It seems that there are few high-level professional players participating in the Korean qualifiers.”
This is something to be taken seriously. This is because some Korean players may think of the ‘US Women’s Open as a tournament that does not require participation’.
A total of 22 Korean players participated in the US Women’s Open last year. Most of them were players on the LPGA tour, and the players who participated in the preliminary match held in Korea were amateur Joo Soo-bin, National Reserve Army Lee Jung-hyun, and Kim Min-sol.
at the US Women’s Open qualifiers, Korean Women’s Professional Golf (KLPGA) tour players can participate in up to 5 prize money rankings, and have been ranked among the world’s top 75 in the Rolex ranking twice. Athletes below the above are given the right to participate.
Last year, Park Min-ji, Park Hyun-kyung, Lim Hee-jung, Da-yeon Lee, Jang Ha-na, Lee So-mi, Yoo Hae-ran, Yun Na-na, and Lee Ga-young received the US Women’s Open qualifier through the world rankings without qualifying. Nonetheless, only two players, Yoo Hae-ran and Lee So-mi, participated in the US Open held in Pine Needles, North Carolina from June 2 to 5.
The other 7 were busy playing domestic KLPGA tournaments during the US Women’s Open. The E1 Charity Open was held in the last week of May, and the Lotte Open was held at Bear’s Best Cheongna during the week of the US Women’s Open, where Seong Yu-jin won her first win. The very next week, the Celltrion Queen’s Masters was held in Seolhaewon, Gangwon-do, and Park Min-ji won her second win of the season.
Comparing the total prize money alone, the US Women’s Open was $10 million (12.8 billion won). The Lotte Open was 800 million won and the Celltrion Masters was 1 billion won, so I don’t know why they didn’t participate. Did the hungry spirit or desperation disappear, as someone said? no. Rather, it seems that realistic calculations took precedence.
One player who did not participate said, “If you participate in the US Women’s Open, you will not only miss that week’s event, but you will have to adjust your schedule and condition well, but it will interfere with your participation in the following domestic tournaments.” One player official complained, “It takes a lot of time to adapt to the domestic tour environment after returning because the course environment is different from that of the US course and the domestic one.”
Last year’s U.S. Women’s Open qualifiers had the largest number of applicants ever.
The KLPGA strictly applies the regulations for overseas competitions and says, ‘Only three overseas competitions that overlap with the domestic competition season are allowed and go.’ As the KLPGA gains popularity and the number of competitions increases, overlapping restrictions on participation in overseas tours act as shackles preventing domestic players from participating in overseas competitions.
It would be a realistic choice for the players not to attend major overseas tournaments, but I don’t want to support them. It is seen as an excuse for a lack of sports spirit for a qualified player not to challenge on a big overseas stage.
Does the increase in the number of KLPGA tournaments and the increase in prize money increase competitiveness? Nearly half of the domestic tournaments are 3 rounds and 54 holes, but most of the LPGA tours are 4 rounds and 72 holes. Moreover, in one of the KLPGA tournaments this year, 4 rounds were rather reduced to 3 rounds. Domestic players hit their driver shots at a similar distance, but the average driving distance of LPGA tour players is increasing every year.
Changes in the tour management system may improve these problems. The neighboring Japan Women’s Professional Golf Association (JLPGA) tour generously allows players to participate in major overseas tournaments for more than two weeks. In addition, overseas majors are encouraged to participate in overseas majors by allocating winning points four times higher than in their home countries. The reason why Japanese players such as Yuka Saso, Hataoka Nasa, and Furue Ayaka have recently performed well on the LPGA Tour is because of this policy change in their own tour.
Let’s turn the clock back 10 years. Our players were also fierce at that time. It was when the U.S. Women’s Open qualifier was first held at Ujeong Hills Golf Course in Cheonan, Chungcheongnam-do in 2014. At the time, the USGA explained that it was ‘to hold an international qualifier for the US Women’s Open to solve problems such as excessive expenditure and waste of time by players visiting the US to participate in the US Women’s Open qualifiers and to discover excellent Asian players’.
The USGA paid for the golf course rental and related expenses, and the players enjoyed the opportunity to play on the best stage at a low price. For Korean players at the time, the US Women’s Open was a lifelong dream. Following Pak Se-ri in 1998 and Kim Joo-yeon in 2005, Park In-bi (2008, 2013), Ji Eun-hee (2009), Ryu So-yeon (2011), and Choi Na-yeon (2012) continued their success stories.
Perhaps that is why the preliminaries, where even the directors were dispatched from the United States, have received tremendous responses over the years. Bae Hee-kyung, who was active on the Japan Professional Golf (JLPGA) tour at the time, participated in the preliminary rounds in both Japan and Korea.
Lee Jung-eun, who won 5 KLPGA tours, and Lee Min-young, who won 3 times, also played in the preliminary match. It was a forced march of 36 holes a day, but 136 people from Korea applied to participate. Among the preliminary matches including the United States, the third largest number of players applied.
However, the situation has changed since several years ago when excellent professional players of the KLPGA did not appear in the US Women’s Open qualifiers. The 2022 qualifier held at Incheon Dream Park after 3 years after Corona 19 was serious. Only 71 applicants, including 10 pros and 61 amateurs, applied. I don’t know if it’s because I’m in a hurry to fill the number of people, but I don’t know if it’s because I’m in the middle of the day, and I’m going to go to the middle of the day.
It is unlikely that the USGA, which supports all expenses, will find a reason to hold qualifiers any longer. This is because it is incomprehensible to start with the situation where many of the KLPGA players who have tickets to participate do not participate even without the preliminary round.
Kim Joo-yeon, who won the 2005 US Women’s Open [Picture = USGA]
The US Women’s Open, which dates back to 1946, was a tournament coveted by the world’s best players. The qualifiers began in 1976, the 31st tournament. Since then, non-junior amateur players have been allowed to participate if they have a handicap of 2.4 or less.
In this way, the door was opened, and in the 2004 competition, the number of applicants for the preliminary round exceeded four digits with 1,097. The highest number of applicants in history was 1,874 last year. Twenty-two of the players who took part in the qualifier passed the 36-hole cut. On the other hand, in Korea last year, applicants for the preliminaries were cut in half, and most of the players with tickets were returned.
In this competition, two touching stories were written by a player who played from the preliminary round and won the championship. In 2003, 24-year-old Stanford University graduate Hilary Runke began her first regional qualifier, winning by beating Angela Stanford in an 18-hole round in an overtime on Monday.
Kim Joo-yeon, nicknamed ‘Buddy Kim’, also won the championship in 2005 after going through the final preliminary round. On the last 72nd hole of the tournament held at Denver Cherry Hills, he dramatically won by hitting a bunker shot right next to the green.
But wait. How would Kim Joo-yeon, current national team women’s coach, explain this situation to her students when the US Women’s Open qualifier was suspended in Korea?