From ‘eldest brother’ Choi Kyung-joo (53) to championship candidate Kim Joo-hyung (21). Seven Korean players challenge for the first victory of the new year in Hawaii.
Choi Kyung-joo, Kim Joo-hyung, Lim Seong-jae (25), Kim Si-woo (28), Lee Kyung-hoon (32), Ahn Byeong-hun (32) and newcomer Kim Seong-hyun (25) started on the 13th (Korean time) at the Waiale Country Club (par 70) in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. He will go on a hunt for victory at the Sony Open (total prize money of 7.9 million dollars) of the US Professional Golf (PGA) Tour.
The main character of the greatest interest is Kim Joo-hyung, who is six months into his PGA Tour debut. He tied for 5th in the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which was held as the first tournament of the new year, and is evaluated as a strong candidate to win this tournament.
Kim Joo-hyung, who started his PGA Tour career in July of last year with a special temporary member status, won the Wyndham Championship in August and two wins at the Shriners Children’s Open in October, rising to stardom.
Kim Joo-hyung, who has continued to produce consistent results since then, received greater attention as he tied for 5th at the Sentry Tournament of Champions held last week as the first tournament of the new year.
PGA Tour.com put Kim Joo-hyung as the number one candidate to win this tournament. In the Power Ranking, which evaluates players’ performance and previous performance prior to the opening, he ranked higher than Jordan Spieth (3rd) in the world rankings and defending champion Hideki Matsuyama (8th).
If Kim Joo-hyung, who is ranked 14th in the world, wins this tournament, he can rise to the top 10 in the world rankings.
Kim Joo-hyung will play a tee shot in the first hole with Keegan Bradley (USA) and Mackenzie Hughes (Canada) at 7:30 am on the 13th, Korean time.
‘Eldest brother’ Choi Kyung-ju will appear in the first competition of the 2022-2023 season. It is the first time in seven months since the 3M Open in July last year that Choi Kyung-ju, who plays on the Champions Tour, has participated in a PGA Tour event.
Choi Kyung-ju is the winner of this competition in 2008. He knows the course better than anyone else, so if an accurate strategy is supported, it is worth aiming to enter the top ranks.
Choi Kyung-ju, preparing for the opening of the tournament, said on SNS on the 11th, “We start 2023 with the Sony Open. I hope we can show a beautiful game in beautiful Hawaii.”
For Kim Si-woo, who is playing the first game of the new year, this tournament is a place of good memories. Kim Si-woo, who passed the qualifying school in 2012 and stepped on the PGA Tour stage, was later pushed back to the Web.com tour and returned in the 2015-2016 season. After a personal best finish of 4th in this event, he settled steadily on the tour and took his first win at the Wyndham Championships in August of that year.
It is also the first tournament that Kim Si-woo, who married Oh Ji-hyeon (26), a member of the Korea Women’s Professional Golf (KLPGA) tour in December of last year, participates in with the support of his wife.
Kim Si-woo said, “I married the person I cherish the most, and I hope it will be a process of growing up.” Siwoo Kim achieved his 3rd win in his personal career at American Express in January 2020.
Lee Gyeong-hoon, who started the new year with a tie for 7th in the Sentry Tournament, and Lim Seong-jae, who narrowly missed out on the top 10 with a tie for 13th, 바카라.will also hit a tee shot in Hawaii, hoping for their first win in the new year.
Ahn Byung-hoon, who succeeded in returning to the PGA Tour after two years with rookie Kim Sung-hyun, will also play his first match of the new year at this event. Ahn Byeong-hoon is aiming for his second top 10 of the season after finishing fourth at the Fortinet Championship last September and Kim Seong-hyun at the Shriners Children’s Open in October.
Michael Castillo (60), who overcame cancer and won a golf tournament in Hawaii, is on the roster for this tournament, drawing attention.
Castillo won the Aloha Regional Championship and qualified for the Sony Open.
Working as a head pro at a golf course in Kapalua, Hawaii, he is the oldest participant in the tournament. He is 7 years older than Choi Kyung-ju. Although her physical condition is not so good that she had to undergo chemotherapy in November of last year, she did not hide her excitement at participating in the competition.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Castillo said, “It’s the first time in 10 years that the whole family is together, and I’m very happy.”