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Crowds of spectators capture the action on their phones during the final  round of the 3rd Mediheal-Hankook Ilbo Championship held at Club72’s Sky Course  in Incheon, Sunday. Korea Times photo by Wang Tae-seok

Both men’s and women’s golf tournaments took place simultaneously in Korea this past week, showcasing a striking contrast in success and fan engagement between the two.The women’s professional golf tour (KLPGA) hosted the 3rd Mediheal-Hankook Ilbo Championship at the Sky Course of Club 72 CC in Incheon from April 11 to 14, boasting a total prize fund of 1 billion won ($723,310). This tournament not only marked the fourth event of the KLPGA 2024 season but was also the first to be held on the mainland — with the first two events held overseas, and the third one on Jeju island — attracting significant attention and participation.Simultaneously, the men’s KPGA Tour held its season opener, the DB Insurance Promy Open, at the La Vie Est Belle Country Club’s Old Course in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, which featured a total prize fund of 700 million won. Despite being the inaugural event of the season, it failed to draw the same level of public, or media interest, as the women’s tournament.The women’s championship saw an impressive turnout, with the organizing committee reporting that the total attendance reached about 6,800 by the afternoon, with over 5,000 in attendance on the weekend alone. The event was a hit online as well, drawing as many as 97,000 viewers on Naver’s livestream at its peak.

Fans gathered from all over the country, filling the venue to capacity, particularly on the 13th and 14th, which were buoyed by the weekend crowds. Enthusiasts at the event expressed a sense of being on a spring outing, enjoying the lush, rain-refreshed greens while supporting their favorite players. In contrast, the KPGA tour’s opener struggled to garner attention. The online viewership on Naver barely reached 5,000, a difference from the bustling scenes at the women’s event.The absence of Kim Won-seop, the chairman of the KPGA, who opted to attend the Masters Tournament in the United States instead, was felt acutely. His absence at the season’s first tournament, especially since it was the first under his leadership, contributed to the event’s subdued atmosphere.Described as a “triple-absence event” — lacking the chairman, fans and adequate viewership — the men’s tournament highlighted the challenges facing some professional sports events in attracting fan interest and media coverage.The enthusiastic turnout and viewership for the women’s tournament underscored the critical importance of fan engagement in the success of professional sports. As these events unfold, the contrast between the men’s and women’s tours serves as a vivid reminder of the dynamic nature of sports popularity and 카지노사이트킹 the essential role of spectator support.

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