This year, the largest purse on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour will be KRW1.7 billion for the Hanwha Classic. Last year, the KLPGA Tour’s largest purse was KRW 1.5 billion for the Hana Financial Group Championship. This year, the Hanwha Classic, which had a total prize pool of KRW 1.4 billion, has increased its prize pool by KRW 300 million.
Interestingly, the winner of the largest prize pool is the same as last year. Kim Soo-ji, who won the Hana Financial Group Championship last year, won the Hanwha Classic this year. As the winner of last year’s Hana Financial Group Championship ($270 million) and this year’s Hanwha Classic ($360 million), Kim Soo-ji is not only the “Autumn Queen” but also the “Largest Prize Pool Killer”.
Kim will be looking to make it two in a row at this year’s tournament, which will be held at BearsBest Cheongna (Par 72) in Incheon, South Korea, starting on Sept. 21, with fond memories of last year.
Kim is currently ranked seventh on the money list (587.09 million won). She needs a good performance in this tournament to break the 1 billion won mark for the second consecutive year.
Park Min-ji, who won 1 billion won in 2021 and 2022, is currently ranked fourth on the money list with a total of 615.36 million won. The only other player to join the “Billion Dollar Club” twice, Park will need to perform well in this tournament to reach the billion-dollar mark for the third consecutive year.
To date, eight players have earned more than KRW 1 billion in season earnings, including Park Min-ji and Kim Soo-ji. Go Jin-young, Kim Hyo-joo, Park Sung-hyun, Lee Jeong-six, Choi Hye-jin, and Jang Ha-na are also among the players who have earned KRW 1 billion in season winnings. In 2014, Kim Hyo-joo kicked off the “billion-dollar era” with a total of 1.2897 billion won, and in 2016, Park Sung-hyun (1.3309 billion won) and Go Jin-young (1.2244 billion won) crossed the billion-dollar mark simultaneously. In 2017, Lee Jung-six joined the billion-won club by earning 1.14905 billion won, and in 2019, Choi Hye-jin (1.2716 billion won) and Jang Ha-na (1.0572 billion won) earned over 1 billion won at the same time. In 2021, Park Min-ji broke the record for the most winnings with six wins, totaling $1.5217 billion. Last year, Park became the only KLPGA Tour player to surpass 1 billion won twice with a total of 1.479 billion won, while Kim joined the 1 billion won club with 1.082 billion won.
And this week, it seems certain that Lee will become the ninth member of the billion-won club.
Lee is currently at the top of the money list with 9,954,419.7 million won, and is just 455,803 won away from breaking the 1 billion won mark. All he needs to do is make the cut in this tournament and he’ll be over the 1 billion mark. Lee hasn’t missed a cut this year.
Park Ji-young, who is second on the money list with 923.13 million won, can also join the billion-won club with at least a third-place finish. The first prize for the tournament is $270 million, with $165 million for second, $120 million for third, and $75 million for fourth. Park is 768.7 million won away from reaching 1 billion won.
The tournament, which is part of the Ladies Asian Tour Series organized by the Asian Golf Leaders Forum, also features a number of players from the LPGA Tour.메이저놀이터
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and Australian compatriot Minjee Lee, both ranked in the top 10 in the world, and Choi Hye-jin, who won this year’s Lotte Open at BearsBest Cheongna, are also in the running.
2021 LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year Patti Thawatanakit (Thailand) and 2020 LPGA Order of Merit winner Bianca Pagdanganan (Philippines) are also in the field.