“I need to get a permanent seed”… The challenge of the first KPGA man to win over 5 billion won in prize money

March 20, 2024 0 Comments

“Recently, I have won more than once a year, and I want to continue that momentum. If possible, I would like to do it at the new East Asian Society Group Charity Open (tentative name).”

Marking his 20th anniversary in the KPGA tour, Park Sang-hyun (aged 41) was asked about the secret to maintaining consistency throughout his long tour career at a press conference held at a restaurant in Jung-gu, Seoul on Wednesday ahead of the opening of the 2024 season. “Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m grateful and amazed that he has shown his ability to differentiate himself by competing with younger players,” Park said. “I think the secret is simply love for golf.”

Park Sang-hyun, who has 14 professional wins, including 12 on the KPGA tour and two on the Japanese tour, is showing off his mature skills as he enters his 40s, and has won four times in the last three years, becoming the second top prize winner in his career last year. He picked the Genesis Championship as his most memorable competition in October last year. He explained, “I have a clear and meaningful memory of winning all the competitions, but I remember it especially because it was a competition that I won after extra time with top-class professional Lim Sung-jae.”

Park Sang-hyun became the first player in the history of the KPGA tour to surpass 5 billion won in total prize money by winning the Genesis Championship. So far, he has earned about 5,16.81 million won. Compared to Kang Kyung-nam (Daeseon Casting), who ranks second in total prize money among the same age group, the gap is about 740 million won. “I am proud to be the No. 1 in prize money,” Park said. “I am rewriting history whenever I add 1 won or 10 won in prize money, and I want to do my best to widen the gap.”

This year, there is a competition with a special meaning. It is the Dong-A Socio Group Charity Open, which is hosted in October by a sponsor that has been accompanying the event for 10 years since 2015. The Oran Sea Open (Pokari Sweat Open), which was sponsored by a private company for the first time in the KPGA Tour history, is making a comeback in 18 years. “I have a strong desire to become an invited champion,” Park Sang-hyun said. “I will work hard so that this event can be established as a competition for players and considerate regardless of their performance.”

Park Sang-hyun, who wants to win the KPGA Championship at least once and become a permanent seed in the KPGA Tour by achieving 20 wins in total, plans to join a pro team next week to solidify his commitment to participate in the Time Folio Winners Match Play, an event in which 16 elementary school students will participate. “I respect professional golfer Choi Sang-ho and dreamed of becoming a golfer,” Park said.


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