Reporter Kwon Hyeok-joon = From world No. 1 Lydia Go (New Zealand) to ‘Major Queen’ Jeon In-ji (29, KB Financial Group), and world No. 9 Kim Hyo-joo (28, Lotte). Women’s golf ‘top rankers’ who did not participate in the opening match of the US Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour will start a new season through the European Women’s Professional Golf Tour (LET) competition.
The LET Aramco Saudi Ladies International (total prize money of $5 million) will be held at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club (par 72, 6295 yards) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for four days from the 16th (Korean time).
Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil company, is the title sponsor of this event, and 60 players from the LET and 50 players from the top 300 in the world will participate. It was chosen as the first tournament of the season by world-class players as it was five times larger than last year’s total prize money ($1 million).
This is in contrast to the fact that most of the top rankers missed the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions (total prize money of 1.5 million dollars), the opening match of the new season of the LPGA Tour, which opened last month. In the case of this tournament, only players who have won the championship in the last two years can participate, so there are restrictions on participation, but Lydia Ko, Jeon In-ji, and Kim Hyo-joo did not participate even though they were qualified.
World No. 1 Lydia Ko, who married Jeong Jun, son of Hyundai Card Vice Chairman Chung Tae-young in December last year, chose the LET competition as her first sortie stage after her marriage.
Attention is focusing on whether Lydia Ko, who won three wins on the LPGA Tour last season and swept the Player of the Year award, lowest stroke award, and prize money title, will be able to continue her momentum after marriage. Lydia Ko has the experience of winning this competition in 2020.
In June of last year, Jeon In-ji, who had a long-standing relationship at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, a major tournament, is also raising expectations. In the second half of the year, Jeon In-ji couldn’t play much due to a shoulder injury. Jeon In-gee, who has not been able to achieve remarkable results even after returning in November, is aiming for a new leap forward in the new season. 메이저놀이터
Kim Hyo-joo, who has been showing consistent results throughout the season, including one win last year, will also start his first tournament of the new season in Saudi Arabia.
Arim Kim (28, Hanwha Q CELLS), Eunhee Ji (37, Hanwha Q CELLS), Hae Ran Yoo (22, Daol Financial Group), Heejeong Lim (23, Doosan Construction), Somi Lee (24, Daebang Construction), Yunji Jeong (23, NH Investment & Securities ) and other players from the Korea Women’s Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) tour also compete with the top rankers.
In addition to this, top rankers such as world number 7 Lexi Thompson (USA), 10th place Nasa Hataoka (Japan), 14th place Lin Xiyu (China), and 17th place Daniel Kang (USA) will also make their way.
Next week after this tournament, the LPGA Tour will resume the season with ‘Honda Thailand’. Lydia Ko, Jeon In-ji, and Kim Hyo-joo are expected to be able to enhance their sense of actual combat through this tournament.
In the case of the KLPGA tour, the domestic opening match will be held only in April. For players who are currently training on the field, this competition will be a good opportunity as good as training.