Kim Hyo-joo stands at the forefront.
The final major tournament of the LPGA Tour 먹튀검증2023 season, the AIG Women’s Open (total prize money of $7.3 million), which kicks off on the 10th (local time) at Walton Heath Golf Club (par 72, 6881 yards) in Surrey, England, is a fierce battleground. Opened as the European Ladies Tour (LET), it was transferred to the LPGA Tour in 1994 and promoted to a major in 2001. In Korea, Pak Se-ri in 2001, Jang Jeong in 2005, Shin Ji-ae in 2008 and 2012, Park In-bi in 2015, and Kim In-kyung in 2017 reached the top. This year, 144 players will compete for the prize money of 1,095,000 dollars.
This year, Taegeuk nangja are somewhat sluggish. In 19 tournaments, Jinyoung Ko won only two wins. After Ko Jin-young won the Cognizant Founders Cup in May, 10 consecutive competitions are ‘unrelated’. It is a necessary situation to reverse the atmosphere at the AIG Women’s Open. Kim Hyo-joo is in the best condition among Korean players. He has never been outside of the top 20 in the last six events in a row. During this period, he entered the ‘Top Ten’ four times. His performance this year is ‘Top 10’ 7 times and 7th in prize money ranking ($1,289,460).
In particular, Kim Hyo-joo tied for second place at the Free D Group Scottish Women’s Open, an AIG Women’s Open mock test last week. This is her second runner-up of the season, following the Shop Rite Classic she won last June. She boasted her perfect play, sweeping only 7 birdies without bogey in the final 4 rounds. Her strength is her consistency, which ranks first in at bat average (69.62 strokes). Kim Hyo-joo expressed her determination, saying, “I hope to continue my good feeling at the AIG Women’s Open,” and “I want to finish with good grades next week.”
World No. 2 Jinyoung Ko is aiming for a third win. Since achieving her second win of the season and the 15th of her career, she is going through an adjustment period. She has failed to finish in the top 10 in her last five consecutive events. She withdrew during the second round of the Jeju Samdasoo Masters in Korea last week due to a problem with her left shoulder. Overcoming the weather and jet lag is key.
Jeon In-ji is challenging the ‘Career Grand Slam’ by winning 4 out of 5 major tournaments. He won the 2015 US Women’s Open, the 2016 Evian Championship, and the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in a row, leaving only one tournament to the ‘Career Grand Slam’. It is a determination to shake off the regret of losing to Ashley Buhai (South Africa) last year on the fourth hole. Kim A-rim, Choi Hye-jin, and Yoo Hae-ran contribute to the Korean Buddhist monk’s escape. Among the past champions, Shin Ji-ae and Kim In-kyung were named.