Another week on the LPGA Tour begins with another Korean, Sei Young Kim, the defending champion. The strength of the women’s game is so evident that there are a number of potential winners of this week’s Founders Cup, with the majority coming from Korea.
2016 champion Sei Young Kim produced a blistering final round ten under par, 62 to cruise to an impressive 5 shot victory over a very strong field, with Lydia Ko finishing a distant second.
In 2015, the then 19 year old Hyo Joo Kim took the title by three shots, to claim her second LPGA Tour title. This Korean duo will certainly be in the mix again this week, although as previously mentioned, the strength of this field is so evident, that the winner will need to produce one of their best ever performances on Tour, to fend of her rivals.So this year, who can make it a hat-trick of Korean victories? Well to try an narrow it down to five, outside of the aforementioned is not easy.
Inbee Park is coming off a victory at the HSBC Women’s Champions, so she is expected to challenge again this week. She surprised herself in Singapore by playing so well after a six month break, but she must believe that she can go back to back because of this.
LPGA rookie Sung Hyun Park had a very impressive debut in Singapore, finishing third and being in contention right up until the last few holes. Park will likely be a winner on Tour this year, and quite possibly multiple times. This week could easily be the one where she makes her breakthrough.
Ha Na Jang is also a major factor this week, having already won this year in Australia. She has targeted five wins this year and the form she is currently in suggests this is a very realistic goal.
Thailand LPGA Honda champion Amy Yang is also one to watch out for. She is brimming with confidence after this win and adding another trophy to her cabinet is her immediate goal.Well the attempt to narrow it down to mentioning seven golfers has failed, as there are two more standouts this week: So Yeon Ryu and world number four, In Gee Chun.
It’s almost unbelievable that Ryu has not won an LPGA tournament since the 2014 Canadian Women’s Open. Three LPGA titles, six KLPGA titles and an incredible sixty five top ten finishes suggests that Ryu is never far from contention. Win number four is certainly not too far away.
Finally, 2016 Rookie of the Year In Gee Chun cannot be ignored. The current world number four has begun her 2017 campaign with a T-4th in Thailand and a disappointing T-37th in Singapore. The two week break will undoubtedly have been welcome by Chun and it will come as no surprise to see her name on top of the leaderboard on Sunday.
Of course there are some non Koreans who are potential strong contenders, but our focus is and always will be on Korean golfers. Hopefully it can be four in a row victories this week, and three in a row title winners. It promises to be an entertaining week no matter what the outcome is.
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