South Korean Golfer Park Sung Hyun Set Course Record at LPGA KEB Hana Championship

John Kim, Oct. 15, 2015, 7:55 a.m.


A Korean tour star set a course record to seize the first round lead at the only LPGA Tour event in South Korea on Thursday. Park Sung-hyun, a three-time winner on the Korea LPGA (KLPGA) Tour in 2015, shot a bogey-free round of 10-under 62 to open the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship at Ocean Course at Sky 72 Golf & Resort in Incheon, west of Seoul.

Suzann Pettersen had shot a 63 in the first round in 2012, and she went on to win the tournament that year. Park made five birdies on the front nine and five more on the back nine at the par-72, 6,364-yard layout on a warm afternoon near Incheon International Airport.

Park, the longest hitter on the KLPGA Tour this year, averaging 256.7 yards off the tee, was paired with Lexi Thompson, ranked fourth on the LPGA Tour this season with 267.8 yards off the tee on average. Park was clearly not fazed, outdriving Thompson on some holes and attacking pins with impressive consistency.

Park drained three straight birdies from the fifth to seventh holes, and again from the ninth to 11th. This is the only LPGA tournament held in South Korea each year, and the Ocean Course has been the host every year since 2008. Defending champion Baek Kyu-jung carded a two-over 74, which included four bogeys and one double bogey.

South Koreans have won 12 out of 26 LPGA tournaments in 2015. The LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship was first played in 2002 under a different corporate sponsor, and South Koreans have won nine out of 13 events.

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