Lee Chae-eun (24), who shot an 8-under 64 in the first round of the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour’s SK networks-Seoul Economic Ladies Classic (total prize money: 800 million won) at Finks Golf Club (Par 72) in Seogwipo, Jeju Island, on Saturday, expressed how she felt going into the tournament.
She is currently ranked 60th on the KLPGA Tour money list.
The KLPGA Tour only seeds the top 60 players on the money list for the upcoming season.
If you fall out of the top 60, you will have to start the seeding process all over again.
The seeding event, which takes place every November at Muan Country Club in Jeonnam, is one of the most dreaded events for players.
Players below the 60th percentile on the money list get their blood pumping at this time of year.
If you fall outside the top 60 at the SK networks-SEOUL Women’s Classic, you only have one chance to bounce back at the following S-Oil Championship.
Instead, players can avoid the seeding battle by improving their money list at the SK networks-SEOUL Women’s Classic.
“If (seeding) was safe, I would have come to Jeju relaxed and happy, but this time I felt like I was coming to hell,” Lee said.
Lee’s nine birdies on the day put her well out of danger of missing the cut, which is the last thing she wants to do, and put her in a position to win a title that guarantees her seeding not only for next year, but until 2025.
“I feel like I’ve been playing consistently well this year,” said Lee, “and I’ve had a lot of birdie opportunities. I want to finish the rest of the tournaments as well as I did now.”
However, Lee admitted, “I’m going to be nervous for the next three days. I will try not to lose my timing and rhythm as much as possible,” she said.
Hong Jin-jin, ranked 70th on the money list, shot a 5-under 67 to finish in a tie for fourth place and move into the top 60 on the money list.
Park Do-young (58th), Lee Se-hee (69th) and Lee Ji-hyun (73rd) also shot 4-under-par 68s to give themselves a last chance.
Lee, who has been wearing a hat with the logo of tournament organizer SK networks since 2020, made eight birdies without a bogey to join the leaders.
Thirsty for a second title after winning the Nexen-St. Nine Masters as a rookie in 2019, Lee said, “Two years ago, I had a good performance at this tournament, which led to my re-signing with SK networks, and this year I’m about to re-sign again. I feel like I’m being pushed into a corner.”
Yoo Seo-yeon carded a 6-under-par 66 to finish two shots back of the co-leaders.
Kim Ji-hyun, Park Hyun-kyung and Choi Eun-woo are five shots back in a tie for fourth.
Ye Won Lee, who leads the money list, points and scoring average, shot a 4-under 68 to end the first day in a tie for eighth place.
Im Jin-hee, who is tied with Lee for the most wins (three), had an uneventful first round with a 3-under 69.
She will be looking to win for the second straight week.
Park Ji-young, who is competing with Lee and Lim for the fourth win of the season, was one shot behind with an even-par 72. 스포츠토토