Altvater: South Koreans dominate at Jamie Farr Toledo ClassicWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Four South Koreans are tied for the lead at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic heading into the final round on Sunday: Jiyai Shin, I.K. Kim, So Yeon Ryu and Hee Kyung Seo are all tied at 11 under par.
Jiyai Shin and I.K. Kim shot 66 on Saturday, So Yeon Ryu posted 67, and Hee Kyung Seo fired a 68.
All four ladies cited the softer conditions due to the overnight rains and slower greens as important factors in their scoring. They also feel that the South Koreans are more consistent and that style of play is rewarded at the Highland Meadows Golf Club.
I.K. Kim missed a 2-foot putt on the 72nd hole at the Kraft Nabisco this year that would have given her the title outright and then lost the playoff to Sun Young Yoo. She admitted that it was a tough pill to swallow but that she learned from the experience and has moved on.
She feels that she is in a very good place right now, on and off the golf course.
Of the four tied for the lead, Kim has the most experience. She joined the LPGA in 2007 and has won more than $4.9 million.
Jiyai Shin has been hampered by injuries throughout the year but is now healthy and looking forward to getting back into the winners circle. She has the most wins of this group with eight in just her third year on the LPGA Tour.
Hee Kyung Seo is in her second year on tour and is ranked No. 32 in the Rolex World Rankings and No. 14 on the LPGA Money List for 2012. She has been very consistent throughout the year with five top 10s.
So Yeon Ryu has seven top-10 finishes in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour. She is ranked No. 22 on the Rolex World Rankings and No. 12 on the LPGA Money List.
For the small country of South Korea to produce so many quality golfers and dominate the LPGA Tour is quite remarkable. They all credit Se Ri Pak, who won the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic five times and also won five major titles, with being a big reason South Koreans have been so successful recently on the LPGA.
Se Ri impressed on them when they were young the amount of dedication and practice necessary to succeed on the LPGA.
The Korean ladies all mentioned that they are a close-knit group and will be happy for whoever gets the win.
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