Monday, September 30, 2013

KLPGA Watch: Hee Kyung Bae Outduels Ha Neul Kim and Soo Jin Yang, Outruns Visiting LPGAers

Check out Seoul for details on the impressive victory of Hee Kyung Bae over on the KLPGA by 3 shots over Ha Neul Kim, 4 over Soo Jin Yang, 9 over Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu, 17 over Se Ri Pak and Chella Choi, and 18 over Na Yeon Choi.  Just like on the JLPGA, the lesser-known player from the home tour beat both her peers and visitors from another tour.

What makes Bae's victory even more interesting--and much like Azahara Munoz's on the LET--is that both wins led to losses by a pair of players we were expecting to play in Stage II of LPGA Q-School.  But neither Ha Neul Kim nor Charley Hull's names appear on the preliminary field list any more.  Randall Mell has the details on Hull's decision, but of course the only thing that a google search on Kim turns up is a 2012 Korea Times article on why she didn't plan to do Q-School that year.  It sure would be nice if the U.S. golf media could catch up with the planet (rather than simply being sporadically transatlantic), but to be fair, even the folks at Seoul Sisters are just speculating as to why Kim changed her mind and the Korean golf media could do a much better job of getting news out in English (as could the KLPGA, for that matter--I mean, my god, they've even chosen a format that doesn't show the url of a link when you mouse over it!).

Bottom line is, there are a lot of great golfers over in Korea.  You'd think their sponsors at least would have a stake in helping them get better known outside Korea.  So why isn't it happening?


Anonymous said...

Your comments on Korean female golfers is so right. The Asia Pacific region is where the powerhouse of woman's golf is right now. Lucky we can claim Lydia Ko as our own here in N.Z.
This is also why the Solheim Cup is fast becoming irrelevant to most of us. Why not have Team Europe, Team USA and Team Asia Pacific. I know this would break tradition but I am sure it could be done. It would be great for sponsors, promote the sport worldwide and make the Solheim Cup the pinnacle of representative golf. I know they are introducing the International Crown but that format still leaves out some of the worlds best players.
Colin. N.Z

The Constructivist said...

I agree with you that the Solheim Cup still needs to modernize, even with the International Crown and the Olympics. I would love them try to see them add a third team to the mix. One way it could work would be to have Team USA play the Asia-Pacific team in 2014 and the winner faces Team Euro in 2015. The only question is to figure out where it fits in the schedule...but it's not like the LPGA doesn't have a million dark weeks already!

Anonymous said...

That could possibly be one solution but with a few changes the same format could be used. The foursome would become sixsome with 3 teams of two using one ball, and taking alternate shots until the hole is completed. Fourball become sixball match consists of three teams of two players competing directly against each other then the final day singles played in groups of three. But to keep to tradition ie Ryder Cup which it copies and as it is only a 3 day event you could play the Solheim Cup at clubs where there are 2 courses and played over a week. The first 3 days on course 2 the challenges Team USA play Team Asia-Pacific. Then the next day the winning challenges get 1 practice round main course. Next 3 days the winner plays the titleholders Team Europe on the main course. The defenders would have the advantage to practice on the main course during the first 3 days? but the challengers would get match practice. Imagine if we could have seen this possible Asia-Pacific team competing recently at the 2013 cup.
Karrie Webb
Inbee Park
Na Yeon Choi
So Yeon Ruy
I.K. Kim
Jiyai Shin.
Ai Miyazato
Lydia Ko
Yani Tseng
Shanshan Feng
Se-Ri Park
Chella Choi
and the interest and $$$ value to the LPGA for sponsers and TV rights into the Asia-Pacific region to see a team like that playing.
Colin N.Z

The Constructivist said...

Your model is great because it gets all the world's best players on the same stage at the same time and answers the objection/anxiety "what would happen if there were no Americans playing at all?"

However, your second model means a lot of golf for the winner of the playoff to see who gets to challenge Team Euro.... Huge competitive advantage for the team with the bye....

I dunno, I like the head-to-head focus of my every-year model. If Team USA can't qualify for the finals, they can't qualify. Let the chips fall where they may!