After finishing runner-up for the ninth time in her career, Park Hyun-kyung (23) is looking to put the disappointment behind her and return to the top.
Park lost to Sung Yoo-jin 4&3 안전놀이터 (with three holes remaining) in the final of the Doosan Match Play Championship on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour (total prize money: $900 million) at Ladena Golf Club (Par 72) in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, on April 21.
She won all of her semifinal matches to reach the final, but was overpowered by Sung from the start. It was her third runner-up finish of the season and ninth of her KLPGA Tour career.
Her first runner-up finish dates back to 2021, when she got her long-awaited first win at the Chris F&C 43rd KLPGA Championship in April, followed by a runner-up finish at the Celltrion Women’s Masters in June.
At the time, she was positive that her momentum had picked up. However, after the Celltrion Women’s Masters, she finished runner-up in three consecutive tournaments, including the DB Group 35th Korean Women’s Open and the BC Card-Hankyung Ladies Cup.
She also finished runner-up at the KB Financial Star Championship in the second half of the year. That’s four runner-up finishes in 2021 alone. Last year, she had a few chances to win the title, but ended up with two runner-up finishes and one third-place finish, and this season she has already finished runner-up three times.
Park Hyun-kyung can’t help but be disappointed. While finishing runner-up is something to be applauded, it also means that he missed out on a chance to win the title.
“People around me are worried about winning,” he said. I feel the same way, but when I get greedy, it always takes a lot of energy and the results are not good. I’m going to play with no pressure and have fun,” he confessed.
Park will compete in the KLPGA Tour’s E1 Charity Open at Seongmunan Country Club in Wonju, Gangwon-do, for three days from April 26. Park finished 10th in the 2021 edition of the E1 Charity Open.
This time around, the event will be held at Seongmunan. Seongmunan is the first time the tournament has been held in women’s golf. Bentgrass has been planted throughout the fairways. It will be important for her to adapt to the grass and learn the new course.