The Road To Mongomo was certainly an experience like no other. Lying in a rural setting in Western Africa, is a near pristine golf course that is only used once a year- for this tournament in Equatorial Guinea. Golfers flocked from all corners of the globe, in a bid to hoist the trophy, along with the $30,000 winners prize cheque. Five of them came from Korea, well to be more precise, four did, Charlie Wi flew from his home in the U.S.
Playing at this tournament for the second consecutive year, Wi was undoubtedly the headline act, and the one the rest of the field aimed to beat in Mongomo. All but two were unsuccessful, as Wi finished T-3rd, over the 54 holes. The tournament was reduced to three rounds, after two weather delays- one for heavy rain, the other for heavy fog…
Having made such a long trek from Korea, it was a somewhat satisfying week for the KPGA and KLPGA players involved. Hyo Park and Jeon Woo Park finished T-16th, and secured automatic qualification for next year’s tournament.
KPGA regular Hyo Park would have expected to challenge for the title in Mongomo, however entering into unknown territory was probably a factor in his performance.
Park was paired with the tournament CEO Olawale Opinkawa and the world’s longest female driver Sophia Gustafson, for the opening two days, which certainly was a new experience, during tournament play…
The journey from Incheon to Equatorial Guinea was quite the epic adventure. Four flights and a bus journey certainly took its toll on the Korean contingent, but arriving at the $1 billion Grand Hotel Djibloho quickly offset the jetlag.
Yeon Woo Park, who just recently completed his military service, will be pretty satisfied with his performance, as he slowly shakes off the rust from lack of competitive action over the past two years. Park will next head to China for the two Q-Schools, in a bid to fill up his 2018 schedule.
Park had threatened the lead, early in his second round, with an opening eagle. Unfortunately, a string of bogies saw him slip down the leaderboard, but he did well to steady the ship on the final day of play.
In the ladies event, Eunji Lee enjoyed a consistent level of performance, to secure herself a T-13th finish, and automatic qualification to next year’s tournament, which is also the case for Wi and the Park duo.
Lee, who is a regular WGTour, i.e. Screen Golf Professional Tour, looks to have the game to take it to the next level on the KLPGA Tour. Only time will tell though…
Unfortunately, Ah Reum Kim placed one shot outside both the prize money and automatic qualification.
There may not have been any silverware won in Mongomo, but it will certainly be a week to remember. Hopefully, with the knowledge of the place now, 2018 can produce better results for the Korean golfers that tee it up.
First up, I suppose I better say hello and thank you for visiting my website, whoever you are. I teach, I write, I caddy, I write, I travel, I write. Mostly, about golf if that interests you. Usually interviews for various publications and blog about my caddy adventures.