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Now a household name for golf fans, Yoon In-na was an unknown quantity in the first half of 2022 when she was a rookie on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour.

A former Dream Tour money winner who joined the KLPGA Tour, Yoon In-na’s unusually long game caught the attention of those who know golf, but she didn’t have much of a chance to make her name known to fans.

Yoon’s breakthrough to national stardom came in July 2022 at the KLPGA Tour’s McCall-Mona Park Open at Birch Hill Golf Club (Par 72) in Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do.

Yoon In-na finished runner-up to Lim Jin-hee at the time.

Her second-place finish was more eye-catching than the fact that she showed off her fiery long game.

In the final round, Yoon put the ball on the green in two on the 18th hole (par 5).

It was the first time a woman had ever made a two-under at this course.

The 18th hole at Birch Hill plays 526 yards uphill, so it’s actually nearly 600 yards.

When Yun In In followed her driver tee shot with a 3-wood to the 7-meter pin with 250 yards to go, her partner, Jin Hee Lim, the gallery, and the live television audience were all left with open mouths.

Yoon In-na garnered more attention than the winner, Im Jin-hee, and became the KLPGA Tour’s biggest box office star.

Yoon’s popularity grew even more when she won her first career title two weeks later at the EverCollagen Queen’s Crown, showing off her long-hitting prowess.

However, a month earlier, Yoon In-na had to leave the field after being suspended for three years for hiding the fact that she had played O-gu at the Korean Women’s Open.

The ban was reduced to one year and six months, and since her return this year, Yoon has been on the rise.

She has five top-10 finishes in 11 events and two runner-up finishes.

In her most recent tournaments, the DB Group Korea Women’s Open and the BC Card Hankyung Ladies Cup, she was in contention for the title.

At the BC Card Hankyung Ladies Cup, she had to go to extra time.

She was praised for her ability to win at any time.

Yoon will next compete in the McCall-Monarch Park Open, which will be held over three days starting on the 28th.

This year’s event will be held at Birch Hill Golf Club, the same course where Yoon made her name two years ago.

Birch Hill Golf Club is a mountainous course, but its winners have been surprisingly long-hitters.

Lee So-young in 2016, Choi Hye-jin in 2017 and 2019, Park Chae-yoon in 2018, Kim Siwon (then Kim Min-sun5) in 2020, Lim Jin-hee in 2022, and Ko Go-woo last year were all long hitters.

This means that the course is very favorable for long hitters with high accuracy.

That’s why Yoon In-na is cautiously optimistic about her first victory of the season after her upset two years ago.

“I’m not going to blindly try to go for a two-under, but I’m going to play it smartly according to the situation. However, if I really need a birdie or eagle, I’ll go for two-on,” Yoon said, predicting another two-on show on the 18th hole.

Yoon will also be playing in a return match against Jinhee Lim, with whom she shared the title two years ago.

Lim, who has been playing on the Ladies Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour since this year, will be competing in her first domestic event since moving to the United States.

Lim, who won four tournaments on the KLPGA Tour last year to become the most decorated player on the LPGA Tour and lead the rookie of the year race, will be looking for her seventh career victory on a familiar course.

Having won the KLPGA Tour’s season-ending event, the SK Shields – SK Telecom Championship, last November, it would be her second consecutive KLPGA Tour victory if she were to win the McCall-Monarch Park Open.

“Although I play in the United States, I want to continue my relationship with the KLPGA Tour and will play three KLPGA Tour events this year,” said Lim.

Park Hyun-kyung, the money and points leader who will be looking to win her second consecutive title after the BC Card Hankyung Ladies Cup, and Park Min-ji, who is on the verge of reaching the 20-win milestone, are also mountains to climb for Yoon In-na.

“I like mountainous courses that require accuracy rather than long shots,” said Park, who is aiming for her third win of the season and the lead in the all-time wins category. If I utilize my accuracy and play with my current good shot feeling, I will have a chance to challenge for the title,” Park said, adding, “My goal is always top 10, but if I get a good opportunity, I will set my sights a little higher.”

Lee came into the tournament with hopes of winning her fourth title of the season and reclaiming her lead in the money and points standings.

“In the last tournament, I started to feel better in the second half,” said Lee, who recently lost the top prize money and points lead to Park Hyun-kyung. I want to improve on that and do well at my favorite course, Birch Hill,” Lee said.

Ko will attempt to defend his title, something no one has done since the event’s inception in 2015.

“I’m confident in my putt and short game. If I can keep my tee shots in the fairway and be consistent with my iron shots, good things will come,” he said. 파워볼

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