“2023 Rookie of the Year” who will gain valuable experience in the sandstorm

Kim Min-byeol, 20, had the fiercest rookie of the year race in the KLPGA tour last year. She competed with Hwang Yoo-min, 21, and Bang Shin-sil, 20, both of whom debuted at the same time, from the first half of the year. 스포츠토토

Up until the first half, Hwang and Bang Shin-sil had an advantage in the rookie award structure. Hwang won the Daeyu Winia and MBN Women’s Open in July, while Bang Shin-sil won the E1 Charity Open in May and accumulated many points. Kim Min-byeol, on the other hand, failed to win the title so that her final destination could be seen in the second half.

However, the final winner of the “best rookie” battle was Kim Min-byeol. Although she did not win, it was thanks to her accumulation of points by listening to the top 10 12 times.

Kim Min-byeol, who won the Rookie of the Year award once in her career, is playing her first real game this season through the European Women’s Professional Golf Tour (LET) Aramco Saudi Ladies International, which opened at Riyadh Golf Club in Saudi Arabia on the 15th (Korea time). Kim Min-byeol, who met at the scene, said, “I came here because I wanted to check the performance of the off-season training. The way was not easy, but I chose to participate because I wanted to gain experience in a big competition.”

The Aramco Saudi Ladies International is not a LPGA tour but a LET competition. However, the total prize money is 5 million U.S. dollars, which is the level of a major competition. Lexy Thompson, Georgia Hall, Carlota Chida, Ariya Jutanugarn, and Saso Yuka also participated in the competition.

Players had to fight against strong sandstorms in the first round of the championship. The wind was not strong until the opening, but sandstorms that can only be seen in deserts hit the country from early morning on Saturday when the first round was held. At one time, the game was temporarily suspended due to the strong wind speed that made it impossible for people to stand properly.

“It was my first experience in my life. I’ve met typhoons in Korea, but it was not easy to play because it was the first time that sand flew with me,” Kim said. “The ball couldn’t stay still. If it were a fast Korean green, the ball would have flowed forward or backward.”

“In the first round, I needed a control shot rather than a normal shot. Whether it was left or right, I needed a blow shot, but fortunately, I practiced a lot in off-season training, which allowed me to apply it to the field.”

For Kim Min-byeol, who is now in her second year as a professional golfer, the upcoming event is becoming a valuable experience that she cannot afford to buy even with money. The unfamiliar environment that she encounters for the first time in her life and the uniqueness of the tournament sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund are hard to feel in Korea. “It is the first time that a tournament has such a loud music while playing golf,” said Kim Min-byeol, who tied for 36th in one-over par through the second round. “I heard it was unique to a PIF tournament, but I was unfamiliar with it at first, but I am getting used to it.”

Until recently, Kim had off-season training in Palm Springs, California. After finishing the tournament, she will go back to Palm Springs and do the rest of the training, and start her KLPGA tour through the Hana Financial Group Singapore Women’s Open, which opens on March 7. “Since this is my first tournament, I think it is an extension of off-season training,” Kim said. “Of course, I want to gain good energy from this event and achieve a valuable result of winning the KLPGA tour this season.”

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