“I really want to win the championship this year. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the middle of a long time.”
Lee Ye-won (20) is the main character who heated up the 2022 Korean Women’s Professional Golf (KLPGA) tour. She competed in 29 events, including being runner-up three times, and she finished in the top 10 13 times, earning the Rookie of the Year Award only once in her lifetime. The number of Rookie of the Year points earned by Lee Ye-won is 3001 points. It is nearly 1000 points more than her previous year’s winner Song Ga-eun (2177 points). It far surpassed her previous record of 2780 points by Jo Ah-yeon in 2019. Lee Ye-won is the only player in the 45-year history of the KLPGA Tour to have exceeded 3,000 rookie points.
Her prize money is also by far the best. The prize money Lee Ye-won received last year was 849,784,000 won. She beat Choi Hye-jin’s 822,292,153 won in 2018 and broke the record for the highest prize money ever won by a rookie on the KLPGA Tour. At that time, Choi Hye-jin was the prize money including her two championships, so Lee Ye-won was more generous in terms of her steady performance.
The only players who received more prize money than Lee Ye-won on the KLPGA Tour in 2022 are Park Min-ji (1,477,921,143 won), the strongest player with 6 wins in the KLPGA, and Kim Su-ji (1,082,580,549 won), the main character of the grand prize. Lee Ye-won was called ‘the greatest rookie of all time’ and showed outstanding performance last year. His world ranking soared from 323 in 2021 to 45 in 2022.
Lee Ye-won, who is currently training for this season in Perth, Australia, said in a recent phone call with the Munhwa Ilbo, “I was more grateful that they called me the greatest rookie of all time even without winning. He served as the national team in 2019 and 2020, and having experienced the KLPGA tour in advance as an invited player also helped him quickly adapt.”
Lee Ye-won cited accurate tee shots as the secret to her ability to stand out in her first year of debut on the KLPGA Tour. “Driver distance is average, about 240 yards. However, he self-evaluated, saying, “Sending the tee shot accurately led to a result.” Lee Ye-won is doing weight training and technical training in parallel to increase her driving distance, and is also improving her short game. 먹튀검증
Lee Ye-won picked the OK Financial Group Pak Se-ri Invitational as the event that left her the most regret among the three runner-up finishes. “If you look at the result alone, it is the runner-up in Match Play (Doosan Match Play Championship), but the second runner-up (Pak Se-ri Invitational) is the most regrettable in terms of condition and shot feeling. It was the first stroke play championship competition, so I made a mistake because I was greedy. If the opportunity comes again, I will not make the same mistake.” At the time, Lee Ye-won, while competing for the championship with Kim Su-ji, missed his first chance to win by bogeying two 3-putts only in the second half.
Lee Ye-won, who had already had to swallow regrets on the threshold of winning three times, is of course the goal for 2023. She said, “I really want to win my first championship this year. Da-seung is also greedy. Last year, because he was a rookie, there were many cases where he only played aggressively and lost at bats. I think it will be important to play according to the flow of the tournament this year.”
Yewon Lee has been working towards her goal of becoming the best female golfer in the world since she first picked up her golf club at the age of 8 at the urging of her father. The player she most wants to resemble is Park In-bi, whose strength is an accurate short game. “Ever since she first started playing golf, she has nurtured her dream of becoming world number one,” she said. She is just taking her first steps towards that dream.”