S. Korean veteran Ji Eun-hee in for long haul on LPGA Tour

October 21, 2022

Ji Eun-hee joined the LPGA Tour in 2007 and the South Korean veteran is still going strong at age 36, with her sixth career title having come in May this year.

She just wishes her contemporaries from South Korea would stick around longer so they could all enjoy success together.

Earlier this month, another South Korean player, Choi Na-yeon, announced she would retire after this year and that the BMW Ladies Championship, the lone LPGA event in South Korea underway this week, would be her final LPGA tournament.

“It’d be nice if the girls could stay on the tour a while longer and be around each other,” Ji told Yonhap News Agency Friday after shooting a four-under 68 in the second round of the BMW Ladies Championship. Ji moved to four-under for the tournament at Oak Valley Country Club in Wonju, Gangwon Province.

“I am a bit sad to see them leave, but I fully support their decision to begin a new chapter in their lives,” Ji added.

Choi is one year younger than Ji, and she isn’t the first in that generation of South Korean golfers to have retired or to have openly contemplated retirement. But Ji said joining them outside the ropes hasn’t yet entered her mind.

“I just want to stay on the tour as long as I can,” Ji said. “As I get older, I’ve been trying to take care of my body better. I make sure I put in a lot of work in the gym during the offseason and then try to maintain that form throughout the year.”

Ji is one of four South Korean winners on the LPGA Tour this season. But the country long known for dominance in women’s golf hasn’t quite asserted itself this year, with no champion coming from South Korea over the past 12 tournaments.

“It’s not that we have played poorly. We’re consistently in the top-10,” Ji said. “There are now a lot of great players from the United States and other countries. They are making it more difficult for us to win, but we’ve not been playing badly.”

Ji made six birdies against two bogeys on Friday. She said her putting kept her afloat when she missed her mark with her iron shots on some holes.

“Putting will be the key over the next two rounds,” Ji said. “If you’re not careful with downhill putts on some holes, the ball is going to roll well past the cup. So you’ve got to putt well here to put up a good score.”