Korean stars Inbee Park, So Yeon Ryu and Hyo Joo Kim will attempt to reestablish their country’s domination of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia when the sixth edition tees off at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) this October.
World No 1 Park will be gunning for her second win in the event, having triumphed in 2012 following victories by compatriots Na Yeon Choi (2011) and Jimin Kang (2010). The last two tournaments were won by non-Koreans, namely China’s Shanshan Feng (2014) and American Lexi Thompson (2013), and Park is hoping to reverse the trend.
“It’s been a pretty good year so far! Great to get back to the top of the rankings and then winning the Women’s British Open on the back of the Women’s PGA Championship was pretty special. I’ll be looking to carry my form through the rest of the tour in the US and then hopefully into Asia in October,” siad Park , who has seven Majors to her name.
“The Sime Darby LPGA is a wonderful tournament. It’s a great course and I have some pretty good memories from 2012. I’m looking
forward to it,” she added.
The 25-year-old Ryu has shown equally solid form this year, with seven top-top finishes helping her on her way to fifth spot in the world rankings.She was at the top of the leaderboard on a number of occasions in the first two rounds in 2014 but wasn’t able to carry it through the weekend, eventually finishing tied in third place.
But perhaps the player to have made the biggest impact on the LPGA Tour this year is rookie Kim. Turning professional in late 2012, the youngster enjoyed two prolific years on the Korean LPGA Tour, while also playing in a handful of LPGA events. It was in 2014 that she really showed her class, winning the Evian Championship and shooting 61 in her first round – the lowest score any man or woman had ever shot in a Major. The 20-year-old has no less than 8 top ten finishes this year, including a second LPGA Tour victory at the JTBC Founder Cup, and is now ranked a remarkable No.4 in the world.
South Korea has become such a dominant force in women’s golf that no less than 15 of the top 30 ranked players in the world hail from the republic. One person who knows what it takes to succeed on tour is Australian coach Ian Triggs, who has coached and mentored many Major winners including Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, 2014 Women’s British Open winner Mo Martin and US Open Winners, Eun Hee Ji (2008) and So Yeon Ryu (2011).
Speaking about the mind-set that makes the Korean women such formidable opponents, Triggs said: “The Korean players not only possess an untiring work ethic, totally dedicated to self improvement but also a mental maturity that helps maintain stability in the heat of the battle which limits the damage to their confidence and self belief. The majority have no fear of testing themselves at the highest level and then also enjoy their countrywomen’s success. They are a serious force to be reckoned with on the golf course.”