Kolon Korea Open
Thursday to Sunday, Woojeong Hills CC, Cheonan, South Chungcheong
Entering its 58th edition, the Korea Open started with 144 golfers. The event, co-sanctioned by both the KPGA Tour and One Asia Tour, has the largest total purse in men’s golf in Korea. The winner will collect 300 million won ($251,000) from 1.2 billion won of total prize money.
Local golf fans will be able to check how top-class prize money earners, who are all Koreans, in Korean, Japanese and Chinese tours will be playing.
Defending champion Kim Seung-hyuk was last year’s top prize money earner in the KPGA Tour, while Kim Kyung-tae is currently the money leader in the Japan Golf Tour Organization with three victories this season. Wang Jeung-hun, who is currently second in money earnings in the Chinese tour, is also competing.
Current KPGA Tour money leader Choi Jin-ho, the winner of the SK Telecom Open, and No. 2 Lee Soo-min are also looking for the major title.
ISU KLPGA Championship
Thursday to Sunday, Ferrum Club, Yeoju, Gyeonggi
The 37th KLPGA Championship started on Thursday with 132 golfers. The season’s third major tournament, which is sponsored by construction conglomerate ISU Group, has a total 700 million won purse, with the winner taking 140 million won. The champion gets a full-time KLPGA Tour card for four years.
Chun In-gee, who is the money leader with four wins this season, and No. 4 money leader Ko Jing-young are not in this event. Chun, the winner of the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open, and Ko, the runner-up in the British Women’s Open, are currently in France for the Evian Championship, the fifth major tournament in the LPGA Tour.
But other top-ranked Korean golfers are in the event. Bae Seon-woo, who is No. 5 in money rankings, is still eyeing her first victory in her career. She has three runner-up finishes and a third place finish in 19 events this season. Bae is coming from her painful runner-up finish last week at the Hanwha Financial Classic, where she lost to Japan’s Haru Nomura in an extra hole.
The No. 2 money leader Cho Yoon-ji, winner of the BMW Ladies Championship, and No. 3 Lee Jung-min, who has three wins this season, are also considered top contenders. Park Sung-hyun, winner of the Korea Women’s Open, is a dark horse.
FC Seoul at Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors
3 p.m. Saturday, Jeonju World Cup
Stadium, Jeonju, North Jeolla
Defending champion and league leader Jeonbuk is hoping to recover from a 2-0 loss at home against Ulsan Hyundai on Wednesday. The team is 3-3 from the last six matches.
Midfielder Lee Jae-sung’s return to Jeonbuk after national team duty will be a good boost for the team. Seoul, sitting fifth in the league, had a 0-0 draw against the Pohang Steelers on Wednesday. The team relies on Brazilian forward Adriano, who is the co-leading scorer in the league with 11 goals. Seoul has lost only once in their last six matches with two draws.
Both teams have exchanged a win in their last two encounters this season, each with a 2-1 score.