중앙데일리

Korean golfers battle to best Japan

Dec 08,2008
Workers at Jeju’s Pinx Golf Club on a cleared section of course before the annual Pinx Cup began yesterday. Snow canceled the first round on Saturday and yesterday’s play was shortened to nine holes. [NEWSIS]

Led by youngsters, Korea defeated Japan in the snow-shortened Pinx Cup golf competition on Jeju Island yesterday.

With heavy snow blanketing the Pinx Golf Club over the weekend, the first day of this two-day, annual competition was canceled on Saturday. And more snow overnight threatened to cancel the event entirely yesterday. Clearing work allowed the teams to engage in nine-hole, head-to-head stroke play.

The two sides had agreed beforehand that this year’s match would be recorded as a tie regardless of the result, meaning Korea leads the all-time meetings with four wins, three losses and two draws.

Each nation sent 12 golfers to the competition, and Korea won seven of the 12 matches while drawing one. Pinx Cup rookie Ryu So-yeon, 18, started with a win over Yuko Mitsuka. Japan took the next two matches, but Korea responded with victories by Shin Hyun-joo and Seo Hee-kyung.

Park In-bee, the 20-year-old reigning U.S. Women’s Open champ, then edged out Japanese ace Miho Koga by two strokes. Afterwards, Lee Ji-hee shot an even par against Hiromi Mogi, who was four strokes over, for Korea’s fifth win of the day. Jeon Mi-jung capped the event with a one-shot win over Akane Iijima.

Korean captain Han Hee-won, who lost her match to Sakura Yokomine, said even though this year’s Pinx Cup was unofficial, a win is a win.

“It was only for nine holes, but it feels great to beat them anyway,” she said.

The Japanese captain Akiko Fukushima drew Lee Seon-hwa at one-over in her match. The 16-year veteran, called her first time playing in snow a “fun experience.”

The Pinx Cup organizers were also generous. The players on the winning team were to each receive 3 million yen ($32,315) and the losing players half as much. Following the cancellation of one and a half days of play, they were to be awarded half of the totals.

But at the post-event ceremony, the Pinx Golf Club president Kim Hong-joo said the players gave their best in difficult weather and decided to award every player on each team 2.25 million yen each.

Next year’s Pinx Cup will be in Japan and it will be played over three rounds, instead of two.


By Yoo Jee-ho Staff Reporter [jeeho@joongang.co.kr]





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