Hwang Yoo-min (21) has no “return” in his play. He screams for now. He shoots 257 yards on average with his small and soft body measuring 163 centimeters, and unconditionally aims for the green and hole in any position. He imprinted his name on golf fans by playing hot games, earning him a nickname “Charge Leader.”
“Last year was the most disappointing year since I started golf,” Hwang confessed in a recent interview with the Korea Economic Daily. “In the early part of the season, I lost a lot of OB due to my driver shots being shaken, and in the second half, I lost confidence in my approach. It was a season when I failed to fully demonstrate my strengths.”
Contrary to her assessment of disappointment, Hwang Yoo-min has displayed stellar performance in this season. She garnered one win and eight top-10 finishes as a rookie, finishing the season 11th in prize money. The game is more upbeat. She ranked second in driving distance (257 yards), No. 1 in round average birdie (3.62 yards), No. 1 in birdie rate (20.15 percent), and No. 1 in par-break rate (20.37 percent).
Golf fans were enthusiastic about the emergence of a “dakgong player,” a rare phenomenon in the KLPGA tour where most golfers play traditional golf. In a poll for the popularity award, which took place ahead of the KLPGA Tour Grand Prize ceremony late last year, he proved that he is a “new trend,” as he ranked second after superstar Park Hyun-kyung (24). “I was surprised by the result of the vote. I am grateful and happy to meet fans who love my play,” he said with a big smile.
Last year, Hwang Yu-min, Kim Min-byeol (20), and Bang Shin-sil (20) were loved as three “super rookies.” “Minbyul is good at playing without ups and downs, and Shin is good at short games,” Hwang praised Min-byul. “I envy the fact that emotions are not shown on my face even at a young age. When things don’t go well, I wear different hats and show my facial expressions a lot,” Hwang said with a smile. “I think I’m more challenging than others.”
A scene shows Hwang’s spirit of challenge. At Hole 18 in the third round of the KLPGA Tour’s Sangsangin and Hankyung TV Open held at Lakewood Country Club in Yangju, Gyeonggi Province in October last year, Hwang took off his shoes and rolled up his pants just ahead of his third shot. While losing seven pars on the day alone, the second shot stopped at the entrance to the hazard next to the green. Most players were in the position to receive and drop the penalty, but Hwang immediately went into the water and aimed at the hole. Due to poor race, the ball was caught on the chin of the green and eventually holed out with a bogey.
“I was playing 79 at the time, but if I dropped it here, I would have played 80 unless I made a chip-in,” Hwang said. “I really didn’t want to record 80 pars. Eventually, I played 80 pars by bogey, but I don’t regret the challenge.” “I think I won’t be able to play even during matches, but there are some shots I really want to play. Even though I look less likely, I tend to hit it in person to gain experience and learn with my body. I don’t want to give up this challenge because of my safety.” 토토사이트
In the second season of the regular tour, Hwang said, “My goal is to win multiple games,” vowing to display more robust play. For him, I am focusing on improving consistency of my shots. “In Rocky season, there have been ups and downs. I am training to ensure consistent pitching,” he said. He also plans to challenge himself in the LPGA tour, his long-cherished dream. Currently ranking 59th in the world, she said, “It is best to maintain the top 75 in the world and go straight to the finals, but I will definitely challenge myself even in the preliminaries.”
Hwang’s role models are Kim Hyo-joo (28), Xander Schauffley (31, USA), and Justin Thomas (31, USA). They are all players of small physique, combined with long-range shots and sensuous play. “He is a player who plays with the ball well while using various pitches,” Hwang said of Thomas. “I want to show a performance where people who watch my game can say, ‘He’s doing that over there?’ and ‘He’s making that shot.’ And even if I become a big player, I try to be a polite person. I think a polite person is really cool. Please keep an eye on him.”