They are a bit critical of the KLPGA and its reluctance to pair with the LPGA, pointing out that the BMW is a great way for them to get experience and even cards, and that the Q-Series is itself during the KLPGA season and so restricts most KLPGA players from trying to qualify.
KLPGA players shouldn't be very restricted. PERIOD.
Look at it from another point of view. Is it in the best interests for the awesome KLPGA tour to push their stars out the door at an excessive rate? The LPGA has already felt threatened by the quality and previous or current dominance of the KLPGA stars. Is it in the interest of the bastard US Media to attract Korean talent at a higher rate?
I have no inside knowledge. I don't know exactly why the KLPGA and LPGA don't get along.
If purses were higher, the stars playing the US would want into the KLPGA.
I regret not meeting Grant after her round a couple weeks ago and asking her about her KLPGA experience. She had a front row seat as Yewon beat up the field in Jeju. I bet she has more respect than before.
KLPGA players shouldn't be very restricted. PERIOD.
KLPGA players restrict themselves more often than what the bad guys at the KLPGA do to them.
As I noted in another thread, Hong Kong Park and Yeah, Lee Won are not on the USWO exempt list ... they restricted themselves.
People have to make a living, including writers in golf magazines ... but after pushing that article through Google mush ... I mean, really, some of this is too much. Let's start with the heading: Is there a second Ko Jin-young... KLPGA making a ‘frog in the well’. Hmm, it appears that The New Ko is washed up after five years, and there is no replacement on the horizon. Also, the writer thinks that the KLPGA is being chintzy by offering only THREE free passes per year to its members for playing on overseas tours ... hell, 95% of this tour won't even try to do it once per year.
The Bridgestone Ladies Open in Japan is coming up May 18-21, which is the same week as the Doosan match play. That means a lot of KLPGAers will be on the sidelines that week ... why don't the idle Bridgestone staffers try to get in to the Bridgestone Ladies Open? For instance, I cannot imagine Bridgestone saying no to So Hyeon Ahn (she's in their commercials on SBS Golf), but she may have to get a little pushy and ask for an invite. It's an old traditional in golf for pros to pitch themselves to sponsors. I was at the Seaview in 2010 and an amateur asked Diana D'Alessio if she had played in the recent match play event at Hamilton Farm GC. She answered, “No, but I asked for an exemption. I grew up ten minutes from that place.” See, she at least tried.
The last sentence is the article is a doozy: Korea, a powerhouse in women's golf, is losing its competitiveness. Uh huh ... tell that to Yu Jin Sung in Hawaii ... tell that to So Mi Lee in Japan.
Yewon is only in her second year on tour; players usually don't start trying to leave that early. Hyun Kyung seems not very interested in playing overseas.
But I do agree with the article that it's stupid not to have KLPGA stars in the BMW event. They really need to figure out how to make that happen. It doesn't need to be official money on the KLPGA. It's good pub for the tour and a great chance to give those players experience on the big stage without having to leave the country. And some of the best players to come down the pipe onto the LPGA started by winning there. On top of that, it gets fans of those players to show up at the BMW and increases the excitement factor a lot.
The JLPGA has a joint tournament; so does the LET (several). Why shouldn't the KLPGA?
Korea losing its competitiveness? Well, they only won four times last year; and have only won one in the last eleven Majors. That's a huge drop off from where they were before. Minjee Lee has won more Majors in the last two years than all the Koreans combined. Can they still come close to winning? Sure. But when have they settled for that?
Korea losing its competitiveness? Well, they only won four times last year; and have only won one in the last eleven Majors.
Only LPGA victories? Boy, you are stiff!
Did you see this on the Rolex homepage:
country with most players 141 players in top 500 KOR
country with most players 27 players in top 100 KOR
I've noticed this consistently: Year after year, many more JLPGA regulars play the British Open compared to KLPGA regulars. Why? Discrimination? Fear? Korean apathy? Both tours have concurrent home events with the WBO and both tours have punishment payments. It can't be the Rolex Rankings ... as of today, there is real parity between both tours. If you look at the top-80 today, nine are KLPGA regulars and nine are JLPGA regulars.
Forget about the KLPGA making peace with the LPGA ... heck, they upped the ante. If you look at the KLPGA schedule for the week ending Oct. 22, they went from a 3-round to a 4-round tournament and boosted the purse by 20% to 1,200,000,000 Won.
Well, not just victories. I recall not too long ago there were as many as 8 Koreans in the top 20 in the Rolex rankings. Now there are three. The Koreans aren't winning the Queen Sirikit Cup as often; they used to always dominate. No medals at the last Olympics; their best finish was 9th. Etc.
I don't think the Korean wave is over, but I do think they are in a lull right now. What would help is if more of the top players from outside the LPGA get over here and start competing. I think that the kids who joined the KLPGA in 2019 were inhibited from this by the Covid travel issues and the tour's reducing their options, and they got used to just staying home. Cutting off the BMW removed one of the best ways to dip their toes in an LPGA environment. All that created a two year gap where the best weren't coming over, and we're seeing the impact of that a little now.
Supposedly Min Ji Park, Hee Jeong Lim and So Mi Lee have expressed interest in coming to the States. Let's see if that translates to more Majors and other LPGA tournaments for them this year. But as to why more Koreans don't just play more foreign events anyways I can't say. It might be as simple as their sponsors deterring them, or fear, or laziness, or even a sense that they are not wanted. Who knows?
Lee So-mi hopes to compete in as many overseas competitions as she can if she is qualified.
Salonpas gave a free pass to players who were in the Rolex top-50 as 12/31/2022 ... Min Ji Park was #14, Su Ji Kim was #33 and So Mi Lee was #45. Yeah, Lee Won was #46, but did not play Salonpas ... either she turned them down or there was cap on the number foreign players ... I don't know.
No mention of the LPGA Q-Series in that article, but the condensing of it into six consecutive rounds this year, instead of eight rounds over two weeks, benefits overseas players more than anyone else. I doubt So Mi will fall out of the Rolex top-75 during the next few months.
I get the feeling from earlier articles that she wants to try Q-Series, but it is somewhat contingent on how she does in these overseas events. Of course, if she should happen to win the US Women's Open or some other LPGA event, the decision will probably be made for her, but assuming she doesn't, she'll have a decision to make later in the year.