Seung-hee Noh shoots 7-under-par in 1R at KLPGA KG Ladies Open to claim maiden title

Seung-hee Noh fired a blistering 7-under-par on the first day of the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour’s KG Ladies Open (800 million won in prize money) to claim her first title.

Noh carded eight birdies and one bogey for a 7-under 65 in the first round of the tournament at the par-72, 6,748-yard Sunny Point Country Club in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province.

Noh was alone atop the leaderboard as 15 players did not finish the first round by sunset after a two-hour delay from the first tee time due to fog.

Seung-hee Noh, who joined the KLPGA in 2019 and has one win on the KLPGA’s secondary tour, the Dream Tour, is yet to win on the regular tour, where she has played since 2020.

A third-place finish at this event in 2021 is her best finish on the regular tour to date, and she has the potential to win her first title at a course she has fond memories of.

Seung-hee Noh started on the first hole and was focused as she carded eight birdies on holes 4 through 15. Her only bogey came on the 16th hole (par-3).

“I started late due to the fog and thought it would be difficult to control the conditions, but the putts were following me and I was able to play well,” said Noh. “I wanted to beat my best score of 65, but a short putt on the 16th hole was disappointing.”

“It’s exciting to see so many players winning their first individual title at this tournament. I played well today, but I just didn’t hit the ball well, so I’ll focus on that for the rest of the round.”

Isomi, who has seven top-10 finishes this season but no wins, and Hong Jin-young, who is in her second year on the LPGA Tour, shot a 6-under 66 to finish one shot back of Noh Seung-hee.

“I hurt my back at the end of the first half of last year, so I didn’t play for about a year, so I had some physical problems. I’m working hard to improve my fitness, and if I can improve that, I think I can win,” said Lee.

Hong comes from a ‘golfing family’. Her grandfather is former Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) president Hong Deok-san, and her father is former KPGA professional Hong Myung-kook.

“Until last year, I learned to play golf from my dad, but nowadays he supports me silently from behind,” says Hong. “I set a goal of 5-under par every round. I will try to play well in the second and third rounds.”

Defending champion Hwang Jung-mi shot a 5-under 67 to begin her title defense at the top of the leaderboard.

Hwang said, “I felt a little bit of pressure because there was a lot of attention on me, but I had good memories from last year, so I was comfortable. My putting is not as bad as it was last year, so I feel more confident that even if I make a mistake, I can make up for it with a putt,” she emphasized.

Hwang Yoo-min, who leads the Rookie of the Year standings with 1818 points, Ahn So-hyun and Heo Da-bin also finished the first round at 5-under, while Choi Hye-yong and Choi Eun-woo followed at 4-under 68.

Kim Soo-ji, last week’s champion at the Hanwha Classic, the 2021 winner of this event and last year’s runner-up, carded three birdies and no bogeys for a 3-under 69 to join the likes of Park Ji-young, Lim Jin-hee and Kim Min-byul, who is second on the Rookie of the Year list with 1,772 points.

Park Min-ji shot a 1-under 71 and Bang Shin-sil was in the middle of the pack with an even-par 72. 파워볼

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