The Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour’s Sangsangin-Korea Economic TV Open is not just about who wins. The battle between the mid- and lower-ranked players to secure a regular tour seeding (top 60 on the money list) for next season is just as exciting as the championship. That’s because this tournament has the largest prize pool of the four remaining events this season.
On the 20th, when the second round was held, it was up to the players to make the cut, with a total prize pool of 1.2 billion won. If you pass the qualifiers, you will receive 6.6 million won even if you finish last. Considering that a few hundred thousand won can make the difference between staying or going, it shows how important the first two rounds of the tournament are for players in the middle and lower ranks. The difference in prize money between Seo, who finished 61st on the money list last year and missed out on seeding by a hair’s breadth (22), and 60th place was 298,547 won.
To qualify for the KLPGA Tour, a player must either win a title (securing a two-year seed) or finish in the top 60 on the money list for the year. If you don’t make it to the top 60 before the final event of the season, the SK Shielders-SK Telecom Championship, you will have to compete in the ‘Seeding from Hell’ at Muan CC in Jeonnam. In particular, if a player does not reach the top 80 on the money list by the SK networks-Seoul Economic Ladies Classic, which will be held on April 26, she will have to compete in a qualifying round.
Lee Chae-eun (24), currently ranked 60th on the KLPGA Tour money list, has earned $139.61 million, while Lee Ji-hyun (27), ranked 61st, has earned $134.97 million, a difference of about $4.5 million. The battle is even more intense in the 80th place, which is exempt from seeding. The 80th-ranked Kim Seoyoon2 (21) earned 94.73 million won, while the 81st-ranked Choi Ye-bon (20) earned 93.82 million won. They are separated by only 900,000 won, meaning that they will have to play qualifiers first.
Choi Ga-bin (20) had the biggest smile on her face in the second round. In her second year on the KLPGA Tour, Choi has earned $154.1 million this year and ranks 58th on the money list. After shooting 6-under-par in the first round of the tournament to move into a tie for second place, Choi shot even-par on the day to advance to the final round in a tie for third place. It’s his best finish of the season and gives him a chance to secure the top seed.안전놀이터
Lee Se-hee (26), ranked 70th on the money list, and Ha Min-song (27), ranked 73rd, each made the cut with a 2-over par total. The 81st-ranked Choi Ye-bon, 83rd-ranked Ko Ji-won (19), and 85th-ranked Jeon Woori (27) also advanced to the main event and took a step closer to exempting themselves from seeding.
There are also a few players with ‘red lights’ on. Li Shuying (20-China), ranked 69th on the money list and in danger, dropped three shots on the day and failed to make the cut in a tie for 66th. Na Hee-won (29), ranked 67th on the money list, also missed out on a chance to add to her prize fund when she was eliminated in qualifying. Not only is it harder for her to secure a seeding, but she now faces the worst possible scenario of having to play a qualifying round.