Although it is early in the season, Park Ji-young (27, Korea Real Estate Trust) is the most ‘hot’ player on the KLPGA Tour this year.
After all, the score proves it. He won his first win of the season early at the Hana Financial Group Singapore Women’s Open, the opening day of the 2023 KLPGA Tour held in Singapore in December of last year. And, having completed six tournament schedules, it currently ranks first in prize money, average at bats, and second in target points.
He is in charge of the weighty role of the player subcommittee representing the tour players. In a situation where the weight of responsibility is not light, his steep rise at the beginning of the season must be very unusual, judging from the precedents of former players’ subcommittees.
But this time, he got attention off the course for something that happened during the game. The situation that occurred in the 8th hole (par 3) of the 3rd round of the Mediheal Hankook Ilbo Championship, which ended on the 16th of last month, is the beginning.
At that time, Park Ji-young’s tee shot hit the chin just above the bunker, the boundary between the green and the bunker. He identified his ball to the marker and tried to drop his ball. However, the nearest point (a point close to where the original ball was, but not close to the hole) did not come out.
So he called the match commissioner. Arriving at the scene, the match commissioner gathered the marker and Park Ji-young and took follow-up measures after confirming that the ball was firmly embedded in the ground. Park Ji-young then resumed the play.
If the ball is stuck in the rough, it is not against the rules. The golf rules revised in 2019 allow the ball to be wiped and dropped from knee height even when it is embedded in the rough ground, as in the fairway.
Afterwards, SBS Golf Channel, the main broadcasting company, posted a so-called ‘meme’ video titled ‘Park Ji-young’s 8th hole under 3R controversy’ on YouTube. Currently, this video is down. The broadcaster explained that the measure was taken to protect the players because there were many malicious comments.
The problem arose after that. A senior pro, J, who watched the video asked Park Ji-young about her story through KakaoTalk. And J Mo Pro captured the KakaoTalk conversation between the two and posted it on his Facebook page. For reference, J-Pro is a person who has been suspended for two years from the KLPGA.
The KakaoTalk conversation between the two was mainly about complaints about the competition committee and the host broadcaster. And finally, as Park Ji-young put it, the two of them came together in spirit, saying, ‘I think I’ll have to overturn this once.’ㅋㅋㅋ벳
After the disciplinary action, Pro J Mo, who is known for having a serious conflict with the association, said, “Let’s work together to make the association a little different,” and Park Ji-young replied, “I’ll help you as much as possible.”
As a representative of the players, she said, it is natural for the association to gather the members’ stop and speak out if it is judged that the association is doing something wrong. Because that’s where it is. However, it is a problem if you use the position as a means to cover up your faults or mistakes for extremely private reasons.
The popularity of the KLPGA tour is literally skyrocketing. As such, the responsibility of the player representative is also great. We must not forget, even for a moment, that we must think of the cause first rather than our own trivial grievances. In this respect, I hope that the athlete representative will not make the mistake of causing a stir with a brainstorm like this case again.