“This year is unconditionally the prize money king.”
This is the bold aspiration of Lim Hee-jung, a 5-win champion on the Korean Women’s Professional Golf (KLPGA) tour. He boasts a fan base so thick that he won the KLPGA Tour Popularity Award for two consecutive years. His fan club has 3700 members. He is number one among KLPGA tour players. Lim Hee-jung said in an interview with Asia Economic Daily on the 12th, “The Popularity Award is more meaningful because it is an award directly chosen by fans.” “I am always grateful.” Then, he said, “I have never received a personal title other than the Popularity Award,” and expressed his determination, saying, “I will try to be the prize money king this year.”
Lim Hee-jung has worn the Taegeuk mark since 2016. At the time, he played an active part in the ‘National Team Big 3’ along with Jo A-yeon and Park Hyun-kyung. He swept championships in major amateur stages such as the 2017 Avondale Amateur Championship in Australia and the 2018 Bear Creek Boat Championship. In September 2018, Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games women’s golf team event silver medal is a pity. This is because a gold medal can immediately qualify for a regular membership in the KLPGA. Eventually, in October, she passed the regular member test and entered the KLPGA Tour in November as the second seed selection.
Lim Hee-jung won three victories, including one major, as a rookie, but missed out on the rookie award. She lost to ‘Two Wins Champ’ Cho Ah-yeon by 248 Rookie of the Year points. Lim Hee-jung said, “I don’t think I’ve had any connection with the award,” and she said with a smile, “I think it’s time to receive the award.”
Lim Hee-jung is leaving for Bangkok, Thailand on the 22nd for field training. After about 4 weeks of sweating she is scheduled to return home on February 20th. She is accompanied by coach Kim Yun-gi. She has been coaching at spring camp for the third year this year. Lim Hee-jung is a golfer whose strengths are irons and putting. She especially likes her middle irons. Lim Hee-jung said, “He is confident from the 7 iron,” and he “can create a birdie opportunity.”
Lim Hee-jung focused on increasing his flight distance until last year, but his shot accuracy dropped. I’m putting a lot of effort into my iron shots this year. Lim Hee-jung explained, “In Thai field training, I plan to train to make use of my strengths.” 스포츠토토
Lim Hee-jung went through twists and turns last year. In April she got into a car accident and she suffered a lot of aftereffects. She seldom performed well after the accident, being withdrawn and ‘cut off’ in the six competitions she participated in. In June, she made a perfect comeback by breaking the record for the lowest stroke in 72 holes at the 36th Korean Women’s Open in the major DB group.
Lim Hee-jung’s nickname is ‘the pretty desert fox’. Built by her fans. The name of her fan club is also ‘Yesa’, a shortened version of her nickname. Lim Hee-jung recalled, “Last year, when I was allowed to enter the gallery, it was so nice to be able to breathe with the fans,” and recalled that she was “excited to play.” Lim Hee-jung is doing a good job with her fans. In January of last year she donated 20.22 million won to the Korea Leukemia and Child Cancer Association, and 30 million yen last month. She also delivered her seedlings to the Gangwon region, which suffered wildfire damage, and gave sanitary pads and other items to low-income youth.
Lim Hee-jung said, “I don’t want to be remembered as a player who only plays golf well. I want to be a good person.”
Lim Hee-jung likes Tiger Woods (USA), the “Emperor of Golf,” and Shin Ji-ae, who has 59 victories in Korea, the U.S. and Japan. Lim Hee-jung emphasized, “She raised the hopes of a golf player while watching the interviews and matches of the two players,” and emphasized that she is “like an idol to me.” Lim Hee-jung played with her mentor Shin Ji-ae at the KLPGA Tour Hana Financial Group Singapore Women’s Open last month. Lim Hee-jung said, “She was like a dream” and added, “She told Ji-ae a lot of good things while she bought her food.”
Lim Hee-jung changed her mood for the 2023 New Year. She moved her management company to Sportizen, and decided to use Taylor Made irons for her irons. She has her heart set on winning this year’s prize money king. Lim Hee-jeong finished by saying, “(laughing) it will be difficult for Park Min-ji to do well for three consecutive years. I want to be the prize money champion, too.”