Park Sang-hyun (40, Dong-A Pharmaceutical), on the rise, sets out to establish a new golf history.
The GS Caltex Maekyung Open (total prize money of 1.3 billion won) held at Namseoul CC (par 71) in Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do for four days from the 4th was the first time in history to challenge for the third championship. Park Sang-hyun won the 2016 and 2018 competitions.
Park Sang-hyun, who turns 40 this year, is the hottest player on the Korean Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour this season. He has not yet won a championship, but after competing for the championship in every tournament he participated in, he finished within the top 3.
He finished runner-up at the DB Insurance Promy Open before the season opener that ended on the 16th of last month, and tied for 3rd at the Korea Championship held jointly by the KPGA Korean Tour and DP World Tour on the 30th of last month. Thanks to such an activity, it is currently ranked 1st in Genesis prize money and average at bats, and 2nd in Genesis target points.
Park Sang-hyun is one of the strongest candidates for the championship in this tournament. It is because of the perfect compatibility with Namseoul CC, which is no different from the home course. His declaration of “the course that suits me best” has been proven and remained with his grades, including two championships, runner-up in 2014, 3rd in 2017, 4th in 2019, 3rd in 2021, and 10th last year.
The battlefield of Namseoul CC is not long, but the greens are tricky, so it is no exaggeration to say that the winning direction is determined by the accuracy of iron shots. In that respect, this place is no different from a practice field, and Park Sang-hyun, whose strong point is iron shots, is absolutely advantageous.
At a press conference after the DP World Tour Korea Championship last week, he said, “I like my iron shot now. So, no matter what competition I participate in, I am competitive,” he said. “I will do my best to lift the championship trophy once again at Namseoul CC.”
Last year’s winner, Bio Kim (33, Hoban Construction), is also challenging for the first time in the history of the competition. Bio Kim won the tournament last year following the 2012 one. In addition, Lee Tae-hee (39, OK Financial Group), the winner of the 2019 and 2020 competitions, also threw a vote for the first third victory in history.ㅋㅋㅋ벳
In this competition, competition between the veterans and the newcomers, including Park Sang-hyun, is expected. Go Gun-taek (24, Daebo Engineering & Construction), the winner of the opening match, and Cho Woo-yeong (22, Woori Financial Group), representative of the Hangzhou Asian Games, who achieved the feat of winning an amateur championship in 10 years at the Golf Zone Open, will challenge for their second win of the season.
Choi Sang-ho (68), the “Man from South Seoul,” who holds the record for being the oldest to pass the cut (62 years, 4 months, 1 day) at the GS Caltex Maekyung Open, and Kim Jong-deok (61), the strongest player in the senior stage, were also on the list of contestants. It is of interest whether they will be able to pass the cut in competition with their juniors.