‘Nine-time runner-up’ Park Hyun-kyung “has fun without pressure”

World No. 65 Park Hyun-kyung (23-Korea Land Trust) says she won’t let the fact that she hasn’t won on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) regular tour in more than two years get to her head.

The 11th E1 Charity Open, with a total prize fund of 900 million won, will be held from June 26-28 at the par-72 Seongmunan Country Club out-in course in Wonju, Gangwon Province. It is the 10th event on the 2023 KLPGA Regular Tour 안전놀이터.

The 11th E1 Charity Open will start with a course length of 6522 yards and change to 6480 yards after the cut. The prize fund is 162 million won.

Park Hyun-kyung hits an iron shot on the fourth hole of the third-place playoff at the 2023 Doosan Match Play. Photo courtesy of the Korea Women’s Professional Golf Association
Park Hyun-kyung hasn’t been able to get back on track since her career-best third win on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Tour at the Chris F&C 43rd KLPGA Championship in May 2021. She has finished runner-up nine times in the last three seasons.

Park is the top-ranked player on the 2023 KLPGA Regular Tour, ranking second in money earned, third in points earned, and fifth in scoring average. “They worry a lot about winning,” she said of the atmosphere around her.

“I feel the same way,” she said, “but when I get greedy, it always takes a lot of energy and the results are not good. I will play with no pressure and have fun,” she said, reinforcing her determination to compete in the 11th E1 Charity Open.

Park has been performing consistently, as evidenced by her 26 top-10 finishes (40.6%) in 64 KLPGA events from 2021 to 2023. “I was worried about my fitness, but it’s better than I thought. I think it’s because I’ve been working hard on endurance training in between,” she said.

“I’m still not happy with my shots, but my short game and putts around the greens are going well, so I’m continuing to perform well,” said Park Hyun-kyung, who analyzed her own game and said, “I’m going to perfect my shot feeling,” and revealed her goal for the 11th E1 Charity Open.

Jung Yoon-ji’s iron shot on the 6th hole of the NH Investment & Securities Ladies Championship 1R. Photo courtesy of the Korea Women’s Professional Golf Association
The E1 Charity Open has produced 10 different champions. No one has been able to defend their title. Defending champion Jung Yoon-ji (23-NH Investment & Securities) made her KLPGA Tour debut last year at this event.

“It’s my first time defending my title, so I’m nervous,” she admitted, “but I’m also excited. Many people recognized me and cheered me on as I lifted the trophy after five tiebreaks, which gave me a lot of strength. It was a very meaningful win,” she said, recalling fond memories.

Jung is currently ranked eighth on the 2023 KLPGA Regular Tour in scoring average and greens in regulation. That’s not quite as good as last season, when she was fifth in greens in regulation, sixth in money and sixth in points.

“I’m not putting well lately,” she said, “but I’m going to play with a lot of attention to distance. I will play well so that when I think of ‘E1 Charity Open’, I will think of Jung Yoon-ji.”

Hosted by E1 and organized by the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Tour (KLPGT), the tournament will be broadcast live every round on SBS Golf, Naver, LG U+, and Spotify.

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