The LPGA took virtual golf events to a transcontinental level in the Golfzon LPGA Match Play Challenge on May 25, featuring Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu taking on fellow Major winners Lydia Ko and Pernilla Lindberg.
Using Golfzon simulators, Park and Ryu played at Zoimaru in Daejon, South Korea, while Ko and Lindberg teed up at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida. Golfzon’s cutting edge technology allowed them to compete in real-time over 36 holes, split into an 18-hole foursomes match and an 18-hole fourball match, on a simulated version of the Black Course at Bethpage State Park.
Honours were even as Ko and Lindberg won the foursomes match 1-up, while Park and Ryu decisively took the fourball 5 & 4. Each team won US$5,000 for Covid-19 relief charities.
“It was such a fun day. Obviously, we wanted to win both matches but really it couldn’t have worked much better with us winning the first match and them winning the second. We figured out things and got better as the day went on. But it was really a lot of fun to be a part of this event,” said Lindberg on lpga.com.
Ko added: “Our short games definitely improved. It was difficult but definitely a lot of fun. We expected a lot of birdies in this format and there were. But it was a lot of fun, especially for the fans watching. It ended up being the best possible outcome.”
The event was carried ‘live’ on Golfzon’s YouTube channel and Naver TV. It will be broadcast in June on the Golf Channel and JTBC Golf.
“This concept of Golfzon LPGA Match Play challenge is an exciting new development for the long-term relationship between the LPGA and Golfzon,” said Sean Pyun, the LPGA’s chief business officer for Asia. “Through our partnership, we’ve witnessed firsthand the type of impact they have had in the Korean golf industry, from the standpoint of growing the game of golf in Korea.”