Pak Se-ri is the first Korean player to win the Rookie of the Year title on the LPGA Tour. She won the 1998 LPGA Rookie of the Year when she won the US Women’s Open with her famous ‘barefoot shot’. When Pak Se-ri opens the door, the rookie of the year Korean player pours in like a trough. Kim Mi-hyeon in 1999, Park Ji-eun in 2000, and Han Hee-won in 2001 were crowned LPGA Rookie of the Year. For the fourth consecutive year, a Korean female golfer won the LPGA Rookie of the Year title.
Since then, Ahn Shi-hyun (2004), Lee Seon-hwa (2006), Shin Ji-ae (2009), Seo Hee-kyung (2011), and Ryu So-yeon (2012) have been crowned LPGA Rookie of the Year at intervals of several years. And it was in 2015 with Kim Sei-young that Korean female golfers began to sweep the LPGA rookie of the year again. Korean female golfers won the Rookie of the Year title for 5 consecutive years: Jeon In-ji in 2016, Park Seong-hyeon in 2017, Ko Jin-young in 2018, and Lee Jeong-eun 6 in 2019. From 1998 to 2019, a total of 14 Korean LPGA rookies were born for 22 years.
The rookie king, who has only one opportunity to challenge in his lifetime, is actually good at it, but he has to follow a certain amount of luck. First of all, there should be no strong competitors that year. Last year, Choi Hye-jin was unable to fulfill her dream of becoming the rookie of the year when she faced a formidable foe, Athayati Tikkun (Thailand), who rose to world No. 1 as a rookie.
Since the first LPGA rookie ranking was calculated in 1992, Annika Sorenstam (1994), Kari Webb (1996), Lorena Ochoa (2003), Yani Tseng (2008), and Lydia Ko (2014) have shown off the best skills of their time. The top rankers who made it took the Rookie of the Year title. At this point, the names of several top rankers who did not make it to the Rookie of the Year may come to mind.
First of all, it is Inbi Park, one of the best female golfers that Korea has ever produced. In 2007, when Inbi Park was a rookie, the 2nd to 6th places in the rookie rankings were all Korean players, but the rookie of the year was Brazilian Angela Park. Second place was Kim In-kyung and third place was Park In-bi. Inbi Park was going through a terrible slump at the time.
She also ranked No. 1 in the world rankings, but thanks to her strong competitor, she was ranked No. 2 in the rookie rankings in 2008.
Among 14 Korean women’s golfers, there are only two ‘Rookie of the Year’ winners who won the rookie of the year on the KLPGA Tour. Shin Ji-ae, the 2006 KLPGA Rookie of the Year, and Lee Jeong-eun 6, who won the KLPGA Rookie of the Year exactly 10 years later in 2016. However, when Se-ri Pak and Mi-hyun Kim played in Korea, there was no KLPGA rookie ranking itself, and in 1996, when the two debuted, Se-ri Pak and Mi-hyun Kim were second in prize money rankings and average at-bats at the time. It is estimated that was the Rookie of the Year and Kim Mi-Hyun was the 2nd Rookie of the Year. 스포츠토토
Park Seong-hyun and Seo Hee-kyung are the ‘great takeoff players’ who had no presence when they were newcomers in Korea, but went on to the LPGA tour and rose to the Rookie of the Year title. In the 2014 KLPGA Tour, when Baek Gyu-gyu won the Rookie of the Year, Ko Jin-young was ranked 2nd and Park Seong-hyun was ranked 8th. Seo Hee-kyung was 16th in the rookie rankings in 2006, when Shin Ji-ae became the KLPGA Rookie of the Year, and had no presence. Kim Sei-young was only 5th in the 2011 KLPGA Rookie Ranking.
In 2020, when Corona 19 scratched the whole earth, the LPGA Rookie Ranking itself was not calculated. And in 2021 and 2022, the rookie king from Thailand came out one after another.
Since Pak Se-ri first became the Rookie of the Year in 1998, a Korean Rookie of the Year has emerged at least once every three years. If there is no Rookie of the Year among Korean female golfers this year, even that record will be broken.
However, a ‘trustworthy woman’ is stepping up to succeed the lineage of the Korean LPGA Rookie of the Year, which had been cut off. This is Yoo Hae-ran, the 2020 KLPGA Rookie of the Year. Yoo Hae-ran will make her LPGA debut at the Drive-On Championship held at Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club in Gold Canyon, Arizona, USA for four days from the 23rd. The ‘time of the harmful egg’ is about to begin.