The Don 2023 KLPGA Tour…”Park Ji-young vs Park Min-ji.” “Rookie trio’s performance.” Eyes
In the first half of the 2023 KLPGA Tour, where competition was fiercer than ever, two winners were born. Park Ji-young (27, Korea Land Trust) and Park Min-ji (25, NH Investment & Securities), who are showing overwhelming skills in the 2023 season, are the main characters.
Park Ji-young won the “Hana Financial Group Singapore Women’s Open,” the opening game of the KLPGA Tour in the 2023 season, earning five career wins. Since then, she has been on the rise by ranking second at the “Lotte Rent-a-Car Women’s Open,” which was held as the opening game in Korea, but it has not been easy to win multiple games in her first season.
Park Ji-young, who has repeatedly missed the championship, did not miss the last chance in the first half of this season. At the ‘Ever Collagen-The Siena Queen’s Crown 2023’, which was held as the last competition in the first half of last week, he recorded only one bogey out of the 72-hole play, decorating his first multiple wins.
Park Min-ji’s winning clock, dubbed the KLPGA Tour’s “mainstream,” worked without fail in the 2023 season. Park Min-ji, who finished warming up early in the season, won her first win of the season by recording three consecutive wins in the same tournament at the Celltrion Queens Masters in June.
Park Min-ji, who continued her upward trend by ranking fourth at the next tournament, the “DB Group 37th Korea Women’s Open Golf Championship,” became the first multiple winner of the season by winning the “BC Card and Hankyung Ladies Cup 2023.” Park Min-ji, who increased her career victory to 18 wins, ranked third in the KLPGA Tour record after Koo Ok-hee and Shin Ji-ae’s 20 wins, and also achieved her fifth career title defense, which ranks second in history.
Attention is focusing on whether the momentum of Park Ji-young and Park Min-ji, who commanded the first half of the year, will continue in the second half.
The KLPGA Tour in the 2023 season had its first winners pouring out. Of the 17 tournaments held in the first half of the year, seven players were born to lift their first trophy, giving golf fans impression and joy.
First of all, Lee Ye-won (20, KB Financial Group), the main character of the Rookie of the Year award in the 2022 season, enjoyed the joy of winning for the first time in his life. Lee Ye-won, who enjoyed the honor of winning the Rookie of the Year award last season but failed to solve the final puzzle of winning, tasted the emotion of her first victory at the “Lotte Rental Women’s Open,” the opening game in Korea in the 2023 season.
There were also a series of players who won the championship after a long tour. Lee Ju-mi (28, Golden Blue) won the Medi Hill Hankook Ilbo Championship in 148 regular tours, and Choi Eun-woo (28, Amano) won the Nexen-Saint Nine Masters 2023 in 211 tournaments, impressing viewers and galleries.
Park Bo-gyeom (25, Angang Engineering & Construction) won his first championship in his life thanks to a hole-in-one recorded in the final round at the 9th Kyochon 1991 Ladies Open. It is the fifth record in the history of the KLPGA Tour to win the title with a hole-in-one in the final round.
Bang Shin-sil (19, KB Financial Group), who emerged as a star of the KLPGA Tour by showing off his long hits, recorded his first victory in his life at the 11th E1 Charity Open and his first rookie victory this season. Bang Shin-sil, who made his debut this season, received a lot of attention by winning the seed by 2025.
“Buddy Bomber” Ko Ji-woo (21, Samchully), who became the “Buddy Queen” with Yoo Hae-ran (22, Daol Financial Group) as a rookie in the 2022 season, won his first title at the “McCall and Mona Yongpyeong Open with SBS Golf” in two years since his debut on the KLPGA Tour with aggressive play.
Finally, Hwang Yoo-min (20, Lotte) won her second rookie title this season after a great match that lasted until extra time at the “Daeyu Winia, MBN Women’s Open.” The extra time with Kim Min-byul (19, Hite Jinro), a competitor for the Rookie of the Year award, drew attention
In the first half of the 2023 season, rookie players were more prominent than ever. In particular, competition for the Rookie of the Year award between Hwang Yoo-min, Kim Min-byul, and Bang Shin-sil, who are former members of the national team and are called the “Super Rookie Three,” is making the KLPGA Tour more interesting this season.
First of all, Hwang Yoo-min did not perform well due to unstable tee shots at the beginning of the season. However, it has been on the rise since recording its first top 10 at the “DB Group 37th Korea Women’s Open Golf Championship” and is leading the competition for the rookie award by topping the rookie award point with its first win at the “Daeyu Winia and MBN Women’s Open” in July.
Kim Min-byul has yet to win, but she has been in the top 10 six times, including second place. Expectations are high on whether Kim Min-byul, who ranks second in the Rookie of the Year points based on his consistency, will be able to join the rookie winner’s ranks in the second half.
Finally, the chamber, which is showing a cheerful play with a long shot, is attracting the attention of many golf fans. He emerged as a new “long hitter girl” by hitting a 320-yard tee shot at the “45th KLPGA Championship,” the first major tournament of this season, and won the “11th E1 Charity Open” in May, sparking competition for the rookie award.
Competition for various titles is getting fiercer as the 2023 KLPGA Tour has already turned the halfway point. At the beginning of the season, Park Ji-young took the lead in the points and prize money rankings for Wemade, but latecomers are also chasing.
In the Wemade Grand Prize points category, Park Ji-young, who accumulated 326 points by winning 60 points by winning “Ever Collagen and The Siena Queen’s Crown 2023” last week, beat Hong Jung-min (21, CJ), who collected 318 points. However, the competition for target points in the second half of the year is expected to intensify as the gap with the top players, including Park Min-ji 300 points and Lee Ye-won 274 points, is not large.
Park Ji-young, who harvested two wins, is also leading the race with 634,596,385 won, while Park Min-ji, a multi-winner, is chasing the lead with 588,875,668 won. Competition for prize money rankings is also not easy to predict as the rankings can be changed in one tournament depending on the results.
The Rookie of the Year award points are also neck and neck. Hwang Yoo-min, who accumulated 1,445 points, is in first place, while Kim Min-byul is aiming for the lead by 33 points with 1,412 points. Bang Shin-sil, who has accumulated 1,050 points, is also aiming to win every tournament, so he can aim for the lead at any time.
Various records poured out on the KLPGA Tour this season, giving golf fans joy.
Lim Jin-hee, who won the 2023 NH Investment & Securities Ladies Championship, recorded the most birdies in the first half of the KLPGA Tour in the 2023 season. Im Jin-hee won the ‘Buddy Queen’ title in the first half of the year with 175 birdies. The record of “most birdies in a season” is 359 recorded by Kim Si-won (28, Angang Construction) in the 2016 season, drawing keen attention to whether Lim Jin-hee will be able to create a new record.
In the first half of this season, there were a total of 14 hole-in-one, adding to golf fans’ attractions. A total of 14 players enjoyed the joy of recording hole-in-one once each without more than two hole-in-one players.
The player who has held the title of “Long-Hitting Queen” so far this season is Bang Bang-sil. In the first half of the year, the driving distance of the ventilation room is 267.1596 yards, showing off its relentless long hit. This is more than Kim Se-young (30, Medi Hill)’s 266.9400 yards in the 2013 season, drawing keen attention to whether Bang Shin-sil will be able to become the best long-hitting queen of all time.
In the second half of the 2023 season, there are various records set to be broken. First of all, it is a record of winning lifetime calculation prize money. With Jang Ha-na (31) ranking first with 5,765,535,544 won in this category, Park Min-ji, ranked second, is likely to break the record this season by narrowing the gap with Jang Ha-na to 217,691,136 won.
It also depends on Park Min-ji to break the record for the number of wins in her career. If Park Min-ji, who won 18 games in her career, adds 3 wins in the second half of the year, she will become the main character of the milestone, beating Koo Ok-hee and Shin Ji-ae, who won 20 games in her career.
The record for the most appearances can also be renewed. The current record for most appearances is 237 times recorded by Ahn Song-yi (33, KB Financial Group). Among the players who have yet to win the KLPGA Tour this season, Park Chu-young (33, Dongbu Construction), Seo Yeon-jung (28, Yojin Construction Industry), and Kim So-i (29, Huons) have participated in 271, 255 and 252 tournaments, respectively, and if they win, they will leave a new name at the top of the record.
The KLPGA Tour, which was in charge of golf fans’ weekends, will return to the Jeju Samdasoo Masters, which will be held for four days from August 3rd, after a two-week break.