‘Unknown golfer who fell 48 times’ Baek Seok-hyun first KPGA summit… ’18 hole hazard → fantasy bunker shot’ wire-to-wire victory
A player who lost 60 kg in the 49th class before 48. Nevertheless, Baek Seok-hyeon (33, Husem), who had not been known, broke everyone’s expectations and lifted the first championship trophy on the domestic stage.
Baek Seok-hyun hit 2 under par 69 in the final day of the 4th round of the Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour SK Telecom Open 2023 (total prize money of 1.3 billion won) held at Pinx Golf Club (par 71) in Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do on the 21st, for a final total of 13 under par 271. won the championship
From the first round to this day, he won the ‘wire-to-wire’ without giving up a single lead. He is a name that feels all the more unfamiliar because he is so perfect.
An unknown golfer wandering around, fell 48 timesBaek Seok-hyun went to Thailand in middle school and raised his dream of becoming an elite player in earnest. He made his professional debut in Thailand and later toured the Asian Professional Golf Tour and Japan. After that, he had to fulfill his military service obligations.
He made his debut on the KPGA Korean Tour in 2014, but has been active on the Asian stage all along. When the Asian Professional Golf Tour was suspended due to a novel coronavirus infection (Corona 19), he went through a qualifying school in 2020 and knocked on the door of the KPGA Korean Tour again. Until last year, he hadn’t had much success.
His best finish in his debut season was 11th. He missed the cut only 5 times. Last season, he experienced a tie for 7th place, but was eliminated from the cut in half of the 20 competitions he participated in. He failed to pass the cut twice in four contests this season as well.
The ‘fantastic bunker shot’ that overcame the crisis. The thrill of winning the wire-to-wireThere was a time when he lost 60 kg of weight, which had reached 140 kg, and caused a sensation. However, when he entered the competition, his name was often forgotten. It was a natural result since he didn’t get good grades.
Even before this competition, there was no attention to him. Even when he ran first in the 1st and 2nd rounds, the gaze of ‘no way’ was dominant.
However, Baek Seok-hyun, who started the final round as a co-leader, did not know that the upward trend would stop. In particular, on the same day, following a 300-yard driver tee shot at hole 4 (par 5), an iron shot shot over a tree that obscured the view landed on the green, and an 11m long putt dropped into the hole cup to catch an eagle and run ahead.
Baek Seok-hyun, who reduced the number of strokes with a birdie on the 5th hole (par 3), also predicted victory by adding two more birdies on the second half hole.
However, he increased his anxiety by committing consecutive bogies on the par 3 holes of the 14th and 17th holes. In the 18th hole (par 4), where Lee Tae-hoon (Canada), who was in second place, was ahead by two strokes, his driver tee shot sliced and fell into the hazard area, losing one stroke and facing the third shot. To make matters worse, an iron shot hit on a downhill slope fell into a bunker next to the green. He placed a soft bunker shot 1m inside the hole cup and finished calmly, winning the championship by one stroke.
To my wife and mother-in-law, ‘I am this kind of person’, I achieved my first goalBaek Seok-hyun, who finished the third round, did not hide his desire to win. For good reason. “I got married in December 2022. This tournament was the first time I’ve been caught on the air since I got married,” he said. said. The reason to produce perfect results until the end was clear.
After he made the champion putt, he roared with his arms raised and couldn’t hide his tears. The winning prize of 260 million won is more than the 230.51 million won won in the previous 48 tournaments. Baek Seok-hyun, who secured seed rights, will be able to play on the KPGA Korean Tour stably until 2027.
Baek Seok-hyun, who was interviewed after the game, said, “I can’t express my feelings in words. I’m happy. I really liked my shot this week, so my confidence was high throughout the tournament.” I’m happy to give it to you. Actually, my wife noticed me a lot because my grades weren’t good. It hurt so much. Still, she trusted me and married me. I’m sure she’s crying while watching the TV broadcast, but I want to say thank you very much to my wife.” said.
Baek Seok-hyun drew attention with his ‘no-look putt’ throughout this tournament. At a distance of less than 4m, he made a putt by looking at the hole cup rather than the ball. “My shot was a bit shaky from hole 1 to hole 3, but I saved par with a ‘no-look putt’ and didn’t lose any at-bats. “When I had to putt downhill, I looked at the ball. It’s hard to grasp the distance without looking at the ball. In the case of the last hole, I only looked at my hands. I was so nervous that I couldn’t even see the ball or the hole.” However, this is a “temporary method” and drew a line. He also said that he plans to use a broom stick putter from the next tournament.
Baek Seok-hyun, who was in a hurry to maintain the seed right, now put a strain on himself. “In fact, my goal this season was to show a good image to my wife, father-in-law, and mother-in-law after getting married. From the first round, I appeared on TV a lot and even won the championship, so I achieved my first goal,” he said, “now I want to become a player who has won more than one win. “I received a 4-year seed by winning this tournament. Now that I have 4 years of free time, I will make up for my lack of swing and become a better player. First of all, I will focus on the domestic tour this year. At the end of the year, I plan to apply for the overseas tour Q School.” said the plan.메이저사이트
Korean-Canadian Lee Tae-hoon placed 2nd, defending champion Kim Bio tied for 3rd place… Choi Kyung-joo tied for 19th placeLee Tae-hoon, who reduced two strokes that day, missed a 7m birdie putt on the 18th hole and had to be satisfied with second place, unable to extend the game.
Defending champion and Pinx GC man Kim Bio showed an upward trend with a 5 under par 66, but ended the tournament with a tie for third place (10 under par 274). Amateur national team member Song Min-hyeok and Lee Tae-hee, who reduced one stroke, stood shoulder to shoulder with Kim Bio.
Choi Ho-seong, known for his ‘fisherman swing’, started with a tie for the lead, but lost 4 strokes and tied for 11th place (7 under par 277 strokes), and also failed to make the ‘top 10’.
Choi Kyung-joo, who played two roles as the co-executive chairman of the tournament, recorded an even-par 71 with 2 birdies and 2 bogeys at the first KPGA Korean Tour event this season, posting a tie for 19th (5 under par, 279 strokes).