‘Super Rookie’ Bang Shin-sil (19, KB Financial Group) has used her long game to climb to the top of the KLPGA Tour.
Bang shot a final round of nine-under-par 207 to win the 11th E1 Charity Open on the 2023 KLPGA Tour at Seongmunan CC in Wonju, Gangwon Province, on 28 August.
Bang, who turned professional in October last year, made her debut on the KLPGA Tour this season as a conditional player after finishing 40th in the seedings for the first tour spot, but her victory in just her fifth start secured her first tour seeding for the 2025 season.메이저사이트
One of the reasons for her rise to prominence has been her devastating long game. In fact, his drive distance of 259.6341 yards (approximately 237 metres) this season ranks first overall in this category.
As he continues to wow galleries with his long drives, there’s a name that comes to mind. It’s Yoon In-na, 20, who landed on the KLPGA Tour a year ago in 2022 with a driver swing speed of over 100 mph.
A year apart in age, the two players share many similarities.
The distance of their driver shots, carried by their powerful swings, is unrivalled, and they hit the greens at a very high rate. The only flaw was a slight lack of accuracy with their long shots, which is often the fate of long hitters, and both players tasted their first victories in their rookie seasons.
So who was the better long hitter?
Yoon, who is one year older, competed in 15 tournaments last year and had an average driver distance of 263.4517 yards (about 240 metres).
There have been 19 occasions in the history of the KLPGA Tour where drivers have averaged 260 yards or more, and Yoon’s distance ranks seventh on the all-time list behind Kim Se-young (266.94 yards) and Jang Ha-na (266.42 yards) in 2013. With 259 yards, Bang Shin-sil can become the 20th player in history to go over 260 yards.
Bang’s longest shot this season was 320.1 yards (approx. 292 metres) at the 13th hole in the final round of the Chris F&C KLPGA Championship last month, and at the E1 Charity Open, where she won, she wowed the gallery with a 306.5-yard (approx. 280 metres) drive at the 16th hole in the second round.
Yoon In-na hit a cannonball of 355.4 yards (approx. 324 metres) from the ninth hole in the final round of the Mediheal Hankook Ilbo Championship, her second event of the season. Earlier, at the season-opening Lotte Rent-a-Car Women’s Open, Yoon showed her long-hitting prowess by hitting a 353.7-yard (approx. 323 metres) drive on the fourth hole on the first day of the tournament.
Yoon In-na has been sidelined from tour events since her misconduct at the Korean Women’s Open in June last year, when she was handed a three-year suspension.
While there are no “what ifs” in all sports, it’s clear that if Yoon In-na hadn’t committed the offence, she would have been able to go toe-to-toe with Bang Shin-shil this season, further boosting the popularity of Korean women’s golf. Many golf fans have expressed their disappointment that the dream match-up didn’t happen.