“Super Rookie” Bang Shin-sil, 19, has claimed her first victory on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour in just five starts.
Bang carded two birdies for a 2-under 70 in the final three rounds of the E1 Charity Open at Seongmunan CC (par-72) in Wonju, Gangwon Province, on Monday. With a final total of 9-under-par 207, Bang Shin-sil topped the wire-to-wire leaderboard by two strokes over second-place finishers Yoo Seo-yeon (20) and Seo Yeon-jung (28). She is the 10th player in KLPGA Tour history to win wire-to-wire in her debut. With her victory, which earned her 162 million won, Bang surpassed the 200 million won mark in career earnings (278.89 million won) after just five tournaments on the regular tour, setting a new record in the category. The previous record was held by Choi Hye-jin (24), Cho A-yeon (23), and Park Min-ji (25), who earned over KRW 200 million in prize money in six tournaments.
In this tournament, Bang showcased her long game while also developing a sophisticated short game. His average drive was 263 yards (about 240 meters), more than 20 meters longer than his competitors. Despite heavy rain, especially on the final day, Bangsinsil hit 92% of his greens in regulation, more than 20 percentage points better than his competitors, and made two fewer bogeys. Meanwhile, co-leaders Park Ji-young (27) and Kim Hee-ji (22) dropped one stroke and slipped to a tie for fourth.
It was a far cry from her previous tournaments where she faltered on the threshold of victory. Bang started in the championship group at the KLPGA Championship in April and the NH Investment & Securities Ladies Championship earlier this month, but faltered down the stretch to finish fourth and third, respectively. “I was very disappointed that I missed out on the championship group in the previous two tournaments, but the experience became my medicine and I was able to win this tournament. In particular, I remembered my experience from those tournaments and played a safe fairway strategy rather than being aggressive on the final day, which was a winning factor,” said Bang.
Bang will be able to play on the KLPGA Tour until 2025. After finishing 40th in the seeding event at the end of last year and being limited to just 10 tournaments this season, the victory earned Bang a full seed for three seasons, including this one. Bang, who was highly touted in the golf world as a national team player, was relegated to the secondary tour after suffering from hyperthyroidism. “My friends and sisters who played for the national team all went to the regular tour, so I’m happy to secure a full seed with today’s win,” said Bang. “I’m also happy to give joy to my parents, who suffered more than I did last year because I couldn’t play on the first tour,” he laughed.
The KB Financial Live Championship on the Korea Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour was won by Kim Dong-min, 25, the bronze medalist in the men’s golf team event at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. Kim, who joined the KPGA Korean Tour in 2020, shot a 5-under 67, including an eagle on the 18th hole (par-5) of the final round at the Blackstone Golf Club (par-72) in Icheon, South Korea, to finish atop the leaderboard with a four-round total of 8-under 280. With the 140 million won in prize money, Kim moved into second place on the money list (338 million won) 토토사이트.