Rookie of the Year contenders Hwang Yoo-min (20, Lotte) and Bang Shin-sil (19, KB Financial Group) battled back from behind on the third day of the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour’s Dongbu Construction-Korea Land Trust Championship (1 billion won, $180,000 prize fund). In the final round, they fought for the title in the same championship group.
Hwang Yoo-min added five points in the third round of the tournament at Iksan Country Club (Par 72) in Iksan, Jeollabuk-do, on Thursday to take sole possession of first place with an interim total of 31 points.
The tournament featured a modified stableford format with a different scoring system than traditional stroke play. Players were ranked by summing their scores on each hole, with albatrosses worth 8, eagles worth 5, birdies worth 2, pars worth 0, bogeys worth -1, and double bogeys or worse worth -3.
Hwang made three bogeys on the day, but made up for it with four birdies. After losing the lead to Bang Shin-shil at one point, Hwang regained the top spot with a late birdie.
Speaking to the KLPGA Tour after the match, Hwang opened up about her poor performance. “My overall game didn’t go well today, but I don’t think I played particularly badly,” she said. “So I’m upset, but I’ll try to get my mind back into a positive frame of mind and prepare well for the final round.”
“I think I can beat him as long as I play well,” he said, adding that he was confident about his opponent in the championship group in the final four rounds.
After adding 17 points with nine birdies the previous day, Hwang Yoo-min faltered today, allowing Bang, who is in contention for Rookie of the Year honors, to catch up.
Bang made two bogeys on the day but added 15 points with an eagle and six birdies for a total of 30. The eagle came on the par-5 17th hole. She is one stroke behind Yoo Min Hwang.
In his post-match interview, Bang praised his mid- to long-range putts. “As it was my third round today, I tried to play each shot as best as I could,” he said. “I was able to score a lot of points because my mid- to long-range putts were falling well, and I was able to finish on a high note thanks to my eagle on the 17th hole.”
Bang said he didn’t feel pressured to compete with Hwang Yoo-min. “We’ve played together in the national team, so I think I’ll be able to play comfortably and enjoy myself,” he said, “but I’m trying to focus on my game rather than being conscious of the other player.”안전놀이터
Lee and Lee are tied for third with 26 points.
Lee said, “My putts were short today. It’s a tournament where birdies are especially important, so I told myself that it doesn’t matter if I make a three-putt with four holes to go, I’ll make it long, and that mindset led to good results,” she said.
Isomi said he would continue to play aggressively in the final round. “I think you have to be aggressive in this tournament. I’m going to try to hit my shots towards the pin,” he said, “and even if I make a mistake on a putt, I’m going to try to hit it boldly and improve my score as much as possible.”
Lee Ji-hyun 2 is in fifth place with 24 points. Kim Min-byul and Choi Ye-rim are tied for sixth with 23 points. Im Jin-hee, Kwon Seo-yeon, and Kim Ji-soo are tied for eighth with 22 points.