Korean women’s golf teamed up with four wins on the LPGA tour last year. Although the record for winning the most championships after the United States (8 wins) was achieved, the record of winning the most wins on the LPGA Tour for 6 consecutive years from 2015 to 2020 was blocked by the wall of the United States for 2 consecutive years, leaving regret. More than anything else, after Jeon In-gee won the KPGA Women’s PGA Championship, a major tournament in June of last year, it was more disappointing that no one was able to produce an LPGA Tour winner in the second half of the year.

In the midst of this, competition from Thailand and Japan is threatening Korean women’s golf. Thailand, which has produced LPGA Tour rookie awards for two consecutive years, such as Patty Tabathanakit (2021) and Ataya Titikkun (2022), is in an atmosphere where talented golfers such as Ariya Jutanugarn and Pajari Anannanukarn are increasingly active. . In addition, an increasing number of golfers are growing in East Asian countries such as Japan, Taiwan, and China. This contrasts with the situation of Korean women’s golf, which has consistently challenged the LPGA tour every season and has been relatively stagnant in terms of not only winning results but also overseas tours in the aftermath of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Three Korean players (Ko Jin-young, Jeon In-ji, Kim Hyo-joo) entered the world’s top 10 women’s golf, but it was not easy to find new Korean players on the LPGA tour. Most of all, even though she was competitive, it was not easy to enter the LPGA Tour due to internal regulations. At the LPGA Tour BMW Ladies Championship held at Oak Valley CC in Wonju, Gangwon Province in October of last year, players from the KLPGA Tour could not participate. This is because the KLPGA prohibited tour players from participating in the tournament by defining it as an ‘unofficial tournament’.

KLPGA said through the board of directors in 2021, “(In LPGA tour competitions), you cannot participate in the competition unless you are a tour seed holder. If you violate the guidelines, you may be subject to disciplinary action based on the association’s reward subcommittee regulations.” It made a rule that suspension of business trips up to 10 tournaments and fines (100,000 won to up to 100 million won) can be imposed in parallel with this. Previously, the KLPGA allowed only up to three entries in the annual overseas tour in 2019. It claims that it is an inevitable choice to strengthen the tour by protecting not only the rights of the main sponsor of the tournament, but also the domestic tour players, but criticized that the domestic tour blocks the players’ activities. There were not a few opinions that the players’ willingness to participate in the international stage and the opportunity to expand the game globally were missed.

Here, the situation in other countries caught my eye. That’s Japan. In Japan, not only Nasa Hataoka, but also Hinako Shibuno and Ayaka Furue are increasingly entering the LPGA Tour. JTBC Golf, which was covering the international competitiveness of women’s golf, had an interview with Hiromi Kobayashi, president of the Japan Women’s Professional Golf Association (JLPGA) tour. And Chairman Kobayashi gladly agreed to the interview. Chairman Kobayashi presented a clear vision for improving the international competitiveness of women’s golf in Japan, alluding to his experience and the direction of the association.

Chairman Kobayashi is a player. As a player, she has been on the LPGA Tour for 14 years and is a talented golfer with 11 wins in Japan and 4 wins in the United States. In particular, he entered the LPGA Tour in 1990 and won the Rookie of the Year award that year. After his long international experience, he is faithfully fulfilling his role as a golf administrator with a clear sense of purpose after his retirement.

Chairman Kobayashi said, “The JLPGA is preparing for the direction with a specific theme, establishing a mid- to long-term plan and vision, and how women’s golf will continue to grow and develop.” The JLPGA had a relatively flexible policy for its tour players to participate in overseas competitions. In addition to the five major LPGA tournaments, it is also possible to participate in one event before or after each major event. In addition, it is possible to participate in two general competitions. During the annual JLPGA tour competitions, as long as the 60% participation rule is followed, it is possible to participate in up to 12 tournaments on the LPGA tour. This policy has been in place since 2013.

Chairman Kobayashi said, “The top players of the JLPGA play overseas every year. We looked at what would be a good way to measure their annual skills. I saw it,” he said. The player who actually benefited from this was Saigo Mao last year. Mao Saigo tied for third at the Amundi Evian Championship, an LPGA major event last year. Saigo Mao, who participated in four LPGA tournaments as well as this one, took part in 25 JLPGA Tour events and took part in the fewest tournaments among the top 10 in the JLPGA Tour, but ranked second in the JLPGA Mercedes Points Ranking (2264.83 points). 온라인바카라

Chairman Kobayashi said, “Now that we have become an Internet society, we can check world information in real time. Fans are looking forward to seeing their country’s players win on the world stage. I want to be active,” he said. Regarding concerns about the outflow of manpower caused by the tour players going abroad, he repeatedly emphasized that there is no. He said, “(Players’ participation in overseas competitions) can develop the JLPGA. Sponsors’ support is great. The tour is leading to the effect of growing together.”

Chairman Kobayashi’s experience as an LPGA tour player for 13 years was also in line with the direction of the JLPGA, which encourages domestic tour players to advance overseas. Chairman Kobayashi said, “I won my first LPGA tour championship in my fourth year. I thought that I could do it (on the world stage) if the environment supported me. Most of the professional players are talented. I thought that if I made it, the tour could grow and develop further.” He said, “If you are a professional golfer, you can choose the stage you want to play on any tour. A more detailed interview with Chairman Kobayashi, the situation in Japan, which is developing international competitiveness with the support of the Pro Tour Association with an open mind to overseas expansion, can be seen on the 20th at 9:00 pm on the JTBC Golf New Program Clubhouse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *