KLPGA star drought? It rained in the locker room

The “Scary Teenager” has revitalized the Korean Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour. Bang Shin-sil, 19, emerged as the year’s biggest rising star after winning the E1 Charity Open at the par-72 Seongmunan CC in Wonju, Gangwon Province, with a 9-under-par 207.

Bang held the lead from the first round to the final three rounds of the tournament to win wire-to-wire. It was her first career KLPGA Tour victory.

There have already been five first-time winners on the KLPGA Tour this season, but Bang’s victory is special. She is the only rookie winner among the five first-time winners and is the next big thing on the star-studded KLPGA Tour.

The South Korean is one of the tour’s leading long hitters, standing at 6-foot-3 and possessing a swing speed rarely seen in a female player. Her cool driver can travel up to 300 yards (average distance of 259.6 yards in 2023). He has all the elements to get the gallery going.

His aggressive play and big hitting contrast with his innocent face and shy reactions. Bang Shin-shil, born in 2004, was unseeded this season. She was partially seeded after finishing 40th in last year’s seeding event, and was in contention for the title on the final day at the KLPGA Championship in April (4th) and the NH Investment & Securities Ladies Championship earlier this month (3rd).

Unfortunately, Bang failed to get over the hump in the last two championships. This time was different. In the third round, which was played in the pouring rain, she was unwavering, hitting 100% of her fairways through the 17th hole. With a slim one-stroke lead as his competitors slipped and slid, the young rookie chose to attack rather than defend with a bold tee shot at the crucial 16th hole (par-5), much to the delight of the gallery.

Bang Shin-sil won 162 million won in prize money and surpassed 200 million won in total prize money (278.89 million won) after five tournaments on the regular tour. This is a new record for a minimum of 200 million won in a tournament 메이저사이트.

The KLPGA Tour was facing a crisis due to the departure of one star after another. Jeon In-ji, Park Sung-hyun, Ko Jin-young, and Lee Jeong-six, who led the tour’s popularity seven to eight years ago, moved to the United States after reaching the top of the KLPGA Tour. Powerhouses like Yoon Chae-young, who showed steady form, also chose the Japanese stage one after another.

In the midst of all this, Yoon In-na, who was recognized as a rising star last year, was suspended for playing the wrong ball. There were concerns that the absence of big stars would lead to a decline in the overall popularity of the tour.

In the midst of this, Bang Shin-sil’s arrival was a welcome relief for the tour. When asked if he realized the recent surge in popularity, Bangshinsil said, “There are so many people who recognize me, and I’m grateful for the support. I feel like a celebrity,” he laughed. “I need to improve my accuracy more than I need to increase my distance. I want to improve my fairway percentage.” With the win, she secured a spot on the KLPGA Tour for the rest of the season and a full seeding until 2025.

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