Park reclaims Grand Prize, ‘challenges’ record for third title defense in one season
Reigning Korea Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour standout Park Min-ji, 25, will attempt to defend her title at the 2023 season-ending KB Financial Star Championship ($1.2 billion in prize money).
The KB Financial Star Championship will be held at Blackstone Icheon Golf Club (Par 72/6689 yards) in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, starting on July 7.
Park will be looking to defend her title for the third time this season. Park, who successfully defended her title at the Celltrion Queens Masters and the BC Card-Hankyung Ladies Cup in June, will become only the second golfer in history to defend her title in three events in one season, joining the late Koo Ok-hee in 1982.
After finishing fourth and claiming the top prize at the KG Ladies Open, which concluded last week, Park will be looking to defend her title as the defending champion.
“I feel very honored to be the defending champion of a major tournament like the KB Financial Star Championship. I have a strong desire to lift the trophy once again here at Blackstone Icheon Golf Club,” he said, adding, “My condition, stamina, shots, and putts are not bad. I think I’m warmed up to defend my title,” he said.
“Blackstone Icheon Golf Club is difficult and challenging, but it’s a course I really like. If you know where to go and where not to go, you can do well. I will keep that in mind and play carefully,” she revealed her strategy.
Seo Yeon-jeong, 28, who impressed golf fans with her first victory in 10 years at the KG Ladies Open last week, will be looking to make it back-to-back wins.
“I’m more nervous and anxious because I’m competing after my first win, but I’m in good shape and my putting is really good, so I’m confident that I can get a good result in this tournament,” Seo said.
“It’s a tournament known for its long rough, so I’ll be careful with my tee shots, and I’ll try my best to play with a smile on my face and have fun as always,” Seo added.
In addition, former LPGA Tour player Inji Jeon, 29, will be making her first appearance in a year. “Every year when I play in a sponsored tournament, I have a great desire to do well, and this year is no different. As a member of KB’s family, I want to win this tournament once again,” she said.
“My shots and putts are not bad, but I came to Korea right after playing in the U.S. tournament, so it will be very important to manage my condition. I will do my best to maintain my physical condition and shot feeling.”
Lee Ye-won, 20, is another strong contender, having played in 19 tournaments this season without missing a cut, recording two wins and eight top-10 finishes, and sitting atop the money list.
KB Financial Group players are also in full force. Along with Jeon In-ji and Lee Ye-won, Ahn Song-i (33), Bang Shin-sil (19), and national team member Lee Jung-hyun (17) are all set to compete in the sponsored event, while defending KB Financial Star Championship winners Jang Ha-na (31), Kim Hae-rim (34), and Lim Hee-jung (23) will also be looking to reclaim the trophy.
In addition, the competition for the prize money and grand prize points is fierce, with top-ranked players Park Ji Young (27), Lim Jin Hee (25), Park Hyun Kyung (23), Kim Soo Ji (27), Kim Min Byul (19), Hwang Yoo Min (20), Hong Ji-won (23), Jung Yoon Ji (23), Hong Jung Min (21), and Lee So Mi (24) also throwing their hats into the ring.메이저사이트
Meanwhile, Park In-bee (35), the eldest sister of KB Financial Group and a recent candidate for the Korean International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission, will not be competing in the tournament, but she will be raising eyebrows by stepping out to promote her agency’s competition. On the tournament’s official practice day on June 6, she will join Lee Ye-won and Bang Shin-sil to give lessons to aspiring golfers in the region, and on the final day of the tournament on June 10, she will make a surprise appearance as a commentator to meet golf fans. It will be the first time in seven years since 2016 that Park In-bee will serve as a commentator for the tournament.