The Korean men's tour doesn't mess around, do they?
Bio Kim flipped the bird toward the crowd after someone's smartphone camera shutter went off during his backswing this past weekend. He was leading at the time and would go on to win for the second time this season.
The KPGA's response was swift. Despite this emotional apology before the assembled press on Monday the KPGA board unanimously voted to suspend the current leader on both the money list and Player of the Year standings for three years and fined him 10 million Won ($8350).
Post by legitimategolf on Oct 1, 2019 19:56:15 GMT
Honestly didn't know that gesture carried much weight in Korea. In any case something about this decision disturbs me on a human level. So harsh. Not to mention a dubious precedent. If it were me I'd retract the apology, and then try to get some of my money's worth back, in a manner of speaking.
Bi-O Kim WAS the leader in both the money list and Player of the Year standings, but I just looked through the KPGA website and find that his name has been scrubbed from both tables. Jung Woo Ham now leads both lists.
Has Kim done his mandatory two-year military service yet? If not, this would be perfect time to go! Aside from that, this penalty is absurdly over-the-top. I heard on GC that he can appeal his case within 15 days ... which would also give the KPGA a chance to scale back the penalty and stop looking like a bunch of nutjobs to the rest of the world. Maybe other KPGA players have protested the harsh treatment of one of their own ... or maybe not and they're just lapdogs to their management.
Inbee Park can see both sides of Bio Kim’s three-year suspension from the Korean Tour. As someone who has long split her time between the U.S. and South Korea, the LPGA Hall of Famer can see why so many Americans are stunned by the severity of Kim’s punishment for making an obscene gesture toward the crowd en route to victory at the DGB Financial Group Volvik Daegu Gyeongbuk Open.
“I think the western world is a lot more generous than the Asian culture,” said Park, “definitely that is for sure. That’s why I think a lot of comments over here has been that’s really, really harsh. Back in Korea, they kind of think that it is the right thing. I’m right in between there. I know what it’s like here, and I know what it’s like there.”
Even the smallest of mistakes, said former U.S. Women’s Open winner Eun-Hee Ji, can balloon into a big deal. That goes for the population in general, and not just the professional athletes.
“Three years personally to me is a lot,” said Ji, “but if the KPGA didn’t take any action, I think a lot of sponsors or partners definitely would’ve rethought partnering with the KPGA in the future.”
The incident occurred after someone took a photo during Kim’s backswing on the 16th hole. The 29-year-old, who competed on the Korn Ferry Tour last year, flicked off the gallery in frustration and slammed his club into the ground.
Hyo Joo Kim said that had Kim merely slammed down or threw his club, the punishment wouldn’t have been nearly as severe.
“It would be different if it wasn’t directed to anyone,” said Kim, when asked why this is so much worse than say a Sergio Garcia bunker tantrum.
Park agreed with Ji that the KPGA’s sponsorship struggles might have contributed to the severity of the punishment. They needed to send a message.
“I don’t even know if that kind of situation has ever happened in Korea or not,” said Park. “I think he was probably the example. … That could be maybe our standard from now on. Probably the guys, the girls, professional golfers, will be more careful from now on.”
Post by legitimategolf on Oct 3, 2019 15:02:44 GMT
Of course not a peep about the spectator(s)'s actions.
The KPGA is oblivious to how bad a look this is, not just for them but for Korean culture. In the eyes of westerners at least. Then again they probably have zero regard for what western fans think of KPGA. Bad for everyone though IMO. If Bio Kim were to come to US to play however, I feel he'd get decent support. Even the most goody two shoes fundamentalist American would have a hard time siding with a three year ban for what he did.
Hang on to your hats, this guy also lays out why Koreans are so successful in LPGA with a breezy mansplanation. "...young girls dutifully doing exactly what their golf-obsessed golf-coach fathers tell them to do."
How much joy that player will get from the journey from beginner to 66-shooter is another question. Of course, that’s an American question, too. We’re into joy. Here, we grow up on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Or we have moved to this country and adopted that central sentence of American life. That doesn’t mean the rest of the world thinks that way. Because it doesn’t.
When was the last time Bamberger covered the LPGA in person? Maybe when Annika was riding high 15 years ago? Wasn't he the guy that called in that penalty on Wie for taking a questionable drop in the desert and she got DQ'd? Technically, that was MW's fault, but that was also a LONG time ago. I don't visit the golf.com website, so I'm guessing that following women's golf is beneath him these days...if I'm mistaken about this, please correct me.
Yes, that smoldering "Korean daddy/coach chestnut" is so old that it's a charcoal briquet by now. After racking my brain through all the women's tournaments I have attended since 1990 (amateur & pro), I can think of only one negative Korean daddy/player interaction - Robynn Ree at the 2018 ShopRite/Acer (see my report). I remember seeing Hana Jang's daddy trying to micromanage her putting practice at Westchester in 2015 ... it wasn't a negative interaction, just ABSURD! Likewise, MHL's daddy might step in with a comment or observation during a practice day or after a round (I think her caddies get the brunt of it), but Mi Hyang has NEVER been a joyless player and I think I'm up to seven events with her. BJ Wie is a clown with his overstuffed notebook and big bag of gadgets, but I've never observed a negative interaction between him and MW ... although I concede there have been times where it looked like she didn't want to be at the golf course.
Some people are not giving these GREAT players credit for having a filter ... do you really think The Hulk needed to depend on help from daddy at Westchester? The Old Ko is extremely loyal and protective of her parents...but she must be smart enough to realize that they know NOTHING about playing golf! I remember Kyeong Bae's dad following KB during her early years on the LPGA....smoking cigarettes, his over-tanned head looking like a Brazil nut. I can't say this for sure, but he didn't look like someone who was responsible for developing and maintaining that beautiful swing of hers.