Monday, July 15, 2013

Stuck on two- Why haven't some of the South Korean ladies not been able to get that 3rd win Part One

Hee Young Park notched her 2nd win at the Manulife Financial Classic. I honestly think she will garner more wins on the LPGA Tour.

I believed the same about other Korean golfers before Hee Young and for the most part been disappointed. A large group of these ladies seem stuck on two career wins.

They include-

Meena Lee
Jimin Kang
Gloria Park
Eun Hee Ji
So Yeon Ryu*
Sun Young Yoo*
Michelle Wie
Jeong Jang
Christina Kim
Ji Young Oh
Some comments on all of them

So Yeon Ryu and Sun Young Yoo- These two golfers each have two wins but I wouldn't classify them as stuck on two. That's why I put an asterisk next to their names. Both golfers won tournaments in 2012. The rest have gone over two years.

Gloria Park- In all probability, she won't ever win again on the LPGA Tour. She notched two victories early in her career. Otherwise her play was spotty at best. Park did however have an excellent 2005 campaign.

Since then Park got married, had a child, had marital problems that led up to her getting divorced(Supposedly her husband was a heavy gambler), and done almost nothing since 2007. She is now playing on the KLPGA Tour and not very well at last report.

Jeong Jang- While not as out of it as Gloria Park is at present, I also doubt Jang will be ever seen in the LPGA Tour's winners circle again.

JJ first came on tour in 2000 but it wasn't till 2005 before she won a tournament. It was the Women's British Open, one of the LPGA Tour's four major championships. She won again in 2006.

At her peak, JJ was a top 10 player on the LPGA Tour a level Gloria Park never came close to with the exception of 2005.

Jang played well after her second win up till early 2009 but at some point began having wrist problems. She sought treatment for this and eventually had surgery but she went without a top 10 finish from the 2010 Evian Masters till the 2013 Shoprite. Don't let the latter fool you. JJ's 2013 campaign consists of 3 missed cuts, 3 withdrawals, and only 3 other cuts made other than the Shoprite and the best of those is a tie for 24th.

JJ I think will be following Mi-Hyun Kim and Grace Park into retirement from comepetitive golf in the not too distant future.

Jimin Kang- Out of all the golfers listed at the beginning of this post, I probably know the least about this player. While her 2005 win was on television, for some reason I wasn't watching. Her 2010 Malaysia triumph I also didn't watch. I did blog about it. So I probably learned the result before the tournament was broadcast in the United States. I don't like watching sporting events if I know the results before hand.

My 2010 post noted Kang's consistency. It also stated how 'I long since pegged her as one of those Korean players(Shi Hyun Ahn, Birdie Kim, Joo Mi Kim, Meena Lee) who win once or twice then fade slowly or quickly from view'. That pegging applies today. Other than her two wins, I don't see one time where Kang was a serious threat to win again. Since the 2010 Malaysia win, she has been nearly invisible with just one top 10 at the 2012 Thailand.

Kang hasn't played in a LPGA event since April 2013. She may be injured or given up playing LPGA Tour at this point. If its the former case, I rank her chances of third win as microscopic. Her earlier wins look like flukes to me.

Ji Young Oh- I have always liked Ji Young. Maybe because of the glasses she wore early in her career. They made her look cute.

Like Gloria Park, she won two tournaments early in her career and has pretty much done nothing more recently. Nothing more recently is putting mildly, she hasn't had a top ten since the 2009 Navistar. Oh however has shown traces of good play this year. She was just two shots off the pace at the Walmart tournament before a final round 76 dropped her well back. Oh also shot first rounds in the 60's at the Manulife Financial and the Shoprite. I rank Oh's chances of a 3rd win as being very low but better than Jeong Jang's. Ji Young doesn't have a child and isn't married so far as I know. The lack of those happy distractions plus the couple of sparks of good play this year just make me think Oh might not be done yet.

Christina Kim- Another golfer I personally like. I got to ask Christina a question at a 2007 ADT Championship press conference. Is it already coming on five years since the LPGA Tour visited southeast Florida and I was able to get media credentials?

Like Park and Oh, Christina got her wins early in her career. Unlike Ji Young, she didn't almost immediately drop off the face of the earth after win 2 at the Mitchell Tournament of Champions. Christina was very competitive from 2006 to 2010, played on a Solheim Cup team, and lost a playoff at the Jamie Farr in 2010.

From the start of 2011, Christina has gone splat in Ji Young Oh post 2009 fashion. Why? I don't know. Have their been reports of her being injured? Christina while portrayed as talkative, can clam up quickly when her play is poor. I know that from my blogging experiences. She'll brush off questions about her playing poorly or having a bad hole.

Christina has had two top 20's this year. She's a better player than Oh but I rank their chances of getting win #3 about even. In other words- Not too good.

I'll get to Meena Lee, Eun Hee Ji, and Michelle Wie plus anyone else(After I check LPGA records) in a post later this week.

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