Eunshin Park’s driver tee shot.
Professional golfers usually struggle to defend their titles.
While they certainly have fond memories of last year’s victory, it’s the pressure that weighs on their shoulders that has the worst effect on their performance.
Especially before the tournament, when their names are called and they participate in pre-tournament events, their minds are full of thoughts that they must do well this year.
However, Park Eun-shin, who is attempting to win her second consecutive title at the Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour’s Golf Zone-Dorei Open (total prize money of 700 million won), is different.
After a 7-under 65 in the second round of the tournament at Seonsan Country Club (Par 72) in Golf Zone County, Gumi-si, Gyeongbuk on Wednesday, Park is in sole possession of the lead at 2:30 p.m. with a 13-under 131 total.
Park sank nine birdies on the day to go along with two bogeys.
After playing 20 holes the previous day, including two that were delayed due to fog, Park birdied the final hole of the first round to give her 10 birdie putts on the day.
Park said she is excited and in good spirits, not because of the pressure of defending her title, but because of the good memories.
“It actually makes me more focused,” she said, adding that it was the same for the Descente Korea Match Play, her first title defense this season.
Park reached the quarterfinals of the Descent Korea Match Play.
“It’s natural to be greedy after winning back-to-back tournaments,” Park said, “but there are still two days left, so I have to keep my greed in check and focus on my game,” and vowed not to start drinking kimchi soup.
Park, who has two top-10 finishes and one missed cut in eight events in the second half of the year, attributed her good results in the first and second rounds to a change of mindset ahead of the tournament.
“I thought I was playing pretty badly, but it turns out I’m not that bad,” Park said. “It’s important not to get impatient when things aren’t going well,” she added.
Knowing that putting will be crucial to her success in defending her title, Park said that since her last tournament, she has been skipping practice strokes when putting, which has improved her putt success rate.
“I think I’m thinking a lot whenever I take a practice stroke,” Park said. “When I practice on the practice green, I just hit it hard, and I’m putting with that feeling, and it’s definitely working.”
Senior Kang Kyung-nam, who was eight under par through the 16th hole of the first round the day before to share the lead with Jung and Chung, parred the remaining two holes and then dropped four strokes in the second round to trail Park by one shot.
Genesis Order of Merit points leader Ham Jeong-woo shot a 6-under 66 to move into contention for the title at 11-under 133. 스포츠토토맨