Bae So-hyun (from Bio), a “long hitter” who is already over 30, vowed to hit a long ball.

Bae made eight birdies without a bogey in the first round of the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour Mediheal/Korea Daily Championship (total prize money of 1 billion won) held at Club 72 Sky Course (par 72, 6,648 yards) in Yeongjong-do, Incheon on Sunday. She recorded 8-under 64. As a result, Bae ranked third with Cho Ah-yeon (24, Korea Land Trust), one stroke behind the co-leader group.

Bae So-hyun is slowly but calmly approaching grand maturity.

Bae So-hyun, who started golf at a late age in his third year of middle school, chose to overcome this problem by taking the GED instead of going to high school, and became a professional after 15 hours of practice.

Even after becoming a professional, her voyage was not smooth. Bae joined the KLPGA in 2011, but only reported her first win on the dream tour in 2016, six years later. Bae debuted on the KLPGA tour the following year as the top prize winner in 2017, and competed fiercely for survival over the next two seasons. In her first year of debut, she was outside the top 100 in the prize money rankings, but she endured by finishing second in the “seed match of hell.” In 2018, she failed to secure a seed, so she had to head to the dream tour in 2019. To make matters worse, she also suffered the death of her father in 2019. She returned to the regular tour in 2021, but had to end the season in 2020 due to the aftereffects of surgery due to a back injury.

However, Bae has been stable despite his age, with his prize money ranking ranked 29th and 35th in the past two seasons in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

“As the season is long, I have maintained my physical strength since I was in my 20s, and I’ve been showing better performances lately as my back injury has improved,” Bae said. “More than anything, I care about distance because of the distance that I can compete as a player even after I am in my 30s. I write this.” In fact, Bae is one of the few players in his 30s who has made a name for himself in a long-distance competition, which was hosted by Yoon Na-na (22, Hite Jinro), Bang Shin-sil (21, KB Financial Group), and Hwang Yoo-min (22, Lotte). Last year, he ranked eighth in the tour with an average driving distance of 249.8494 yards.

Moreover, we compensated for our weaknesses throughout the winter. Bae So-hyun, who went to Hanoi, Vietnam for the six-week field training, said, “I trained at a 6-4 ratio of swing and weight. I thought my short game was not good enough, so I spent half of my shot practice on approaching and putting.”

Bae was able to sit atop the leaderboard from the first round of the competition. After starting the game at Hole 10, she recorded her first birdie only at the second hole. Since then, she has made long putts exceeding 6 meters and 9 meters at the 14th and 17th holes, respectively, and made three birdies in the remaining holes of the first half to reduce the score by four pars for the first three pars in the second half. After making two birdies at the same hole, she garnered two birdies in succession at the last two holes to reduce her first-day score by eight pars.

Bae So-hyun said, “Actually, my shot didn’t improve that much, but I was able to hit it comfortably because the competition course was wide,” and reflected, “I think making a lot of long putts on the green led to a good score.”

Bae So-hyun, who has yet to win the KLPGA Tour and is already over 30, said, “I want to record my first win this year because I haven’t won yet,” adding, “I like this kind of life as a player. Caddies, professionals, trainers. I want to continue my career as much as possible because people around me are helping me a lot. It will be difficult, but I also want to join the K-10 club, where I have to play consistently for 10 years in the regular tour to join.”


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