A street battle between old and new long hitters and even a birdie competition.
On the first day of the Hite Jinro Championship (total prize money of 1.2 billion won), the last major tournament of the season on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour, Park Sung-hyun, Bang Shin-sil, and Ko Ji-woo play in a group, drawing attention to the long hit and birdie battle.
In the first round of the tournament, which opens at Blue Heron Golf Club in Yeoju-si, Gyeonggi-do on the 5th, Park Seong-hyun will play against Bang Shin-sil and Ko Ji-woo at the first hole at 10:30 am.
Park Seong-hyun was once a leading long hitter on the메이저놀이터 KLPGA tour. He ranked first in this category with an average drive shot distance of 265.59 yards during his seven wins in 2016. According to the record, she hit it farther than Bang Shin-sil (264.519 yards), who is currently ranked first in long shots on the KLPGA Tour.
As is often the case with long hitters, Park Seong-hyun’s accuracy was poor. He had a fairway landing rate of only 67.5% and remained in 124th place in the overall rankings. However, he benefited from his long hits to the extent that he ranked first in the green hit rate category with 79.7%.
Now in his 30s, Park Seong-hyun’s long shots are not as good as they used to be, and his current average is around 255 yards. Players who have played against Bang Shin-sil evaluated him as ‘different from previous long hitters.’ It is a daunting opponent for Park Sung-hyun, but for fans who have seen Park Sung-hyun’s long hits so far, a distance match with Korea’s No. 1 long hitter Bang Shin-sil is a spectacle that cannot be missed.
The buddy battle with Bang Shin-sil and Ko Ji-woo also attracts attention.
Park Seong-hyun was known as the leader in so-called ‘duck-gong golf’, with a birdie rate exceeding 25% in 2016. At the time, Park Seong-hyun was the only player whose birdie rate exceeded 25%.
Bang Shin-sil caught 191 birdies during 54 rounds this year and ranks second with a birdie rate of 19.65%, following Hwang Yu-min (20.43%). The average number of birdies in 18 holes is 3.537, ranking second after Hwang Yu-min (3.6774), boasting an offensive power comparable to that of Park Seong-hyun.
Go Ji-woo’s name was preceded by the modifier ‘Buddy bomber’. He is the person who made the most birdies last year with 366. Although he dropped to the top 20 this year, he has excellent birdie hunting skills. In last year’s tournament, he made 17 birdies over 4 rounds. It was 2 more than the 15 recorded by winner Park Min-ji.