(Kim) encouraged me to play well for the weekend.”
After the second round of the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour’s BMW Championship ($2.2 million purse), a young girl at the scorecard table asked to take a picture with the players she played with.
After taking a picture with Brooke Henderson (CAN) and smiling like she had all the time in the world, she cautiously approached Hyo Joo Kim (28), who had just finished her on-air interview. After exchanging a few words with Kim, he headed back to the clubhouse, smiling like he had the world at his feet.
The star of the show is amateur Seo Jin Park (16), who will be playing in the tournament as a sponsored player. The tournament organizers granted four amateur players nominated by the Korea Golf Association and Gyeonggi Province to participate in the tournament in order to develop Korean golf talent. Park is coming into the tournament on the heels of a string of top finishes at major tournaments this year, including the Blue One Bae Korea Junior Golf Championship and the Kakao VX Mae Kyung Amateur Golf Championship. A student at Seomun Girls’ Middle School, she will also play for the national team starting next year.굿모닝토토
“It was my first time playing golf in front of so many galleries, so I was nervous, but the players I played with played well, so I think I enjoyed it,” Park said shyly after the match.
When she heard that she would be playing in this tournament, she said, “I was speechless. I imagined myself playing with famous pros, especially Nelly Koda and Se Young Kim, and I got to play with Kim from the first day of the tournament,” she explained.
She shaved four strokes off her first round score to finish in a tie for 16th place and was paired with World No. 6 Hyo Joo Kim and World No. 11 Henderson in the second round of the tournament, which is played in order of ranking. “(Kim) patted Seo Jin Park on the back after the match and gave her encouragement to play well through the weekend,” she said with a laugh.
When asked how he did so well in his first LPGA Tour event, he didn’t hesitate to answer that his long iron shots were the key, adding that his driver also travels about 240 meters. “My putts and short game didn’t go well today, but I’ll try to focus on them in the third round,” he said.
He is now a blossoming 15-year-old. Another Korean women’s golf prospect is living the dream.