Kim Joo-hyung competes for the world ranking ‘Big 3’… Opening of ‘Special Tournament’ Phoenix Open on the 10th

Reporter Kwon Hyeok-joon = Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland), Scotty Scheffler (USA), and Jon Rahm (Spain). The first ‘big match’ of men’s golf this year was concluded. While all the world ranking ‘Big 3’ are on the move, ‘Asian Top Ranker’ Kim Joo-hyung (21, Nike Golf), ranked 14th, also challenges.

The US Professional Golf (PGA) Tour WM Phoenix Open (total prize money of 20 million dollars) will be held for four days from the 10th (Korean time) at TPC Scottsdale (par 71, 7261 yards) in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA.

This tournament, which had a total prize pool of 8.2 million dollars until last year, has more than doubled to 20 million dollars this year. The winning prize is also 3.6 million dollars (approximately 4.5 billion won).

The PGA Tour has designated 17 ‘special events’ from this season, raising the total prize money to at least $15 million. It is a measure to prevent the departure from Saudi Arabia’s enormous financial power to LIV golf.

The 17 competitions are 9 general competitions along with the existing 4 major competitions, the Players Championship, called the ‘5th major’, and 3 FedEx Cup playoff competitions.

Top rankers are obliged to appear in special competitions. Players who ranked in the top 20 of the PGA Tour Impact Index last season can only miss one out of 17 events.

The Phoenix Open, which was classified as a general competition until a year ago, was upgraded to a ‘special competition’ and will be held for the first time.

As a result, the top rankers were mobilized. It is the first tournament in which the world rankings 1st to 3rd will participate simultaneously, and 18 of the top 20th players in the world will participate. The only two people left out are World No. 4 Cameron Smith (Australia), who belongs to Liv, and Will Zalatoris (USA), who belongs to the PGA Tour.

The competition to enter is also fierce. A total of 624 people applied for the ‘Monday Qualifier’, which is held by players who have not secured the right to participate in this tournament. Considering that only the top 3 of them will qualify, the competition rate is over 200 to 1. 바카라사이트

As the size of the prize money increases, the motivation of participating players is expected to increase significantly.

In particular, it is interesting that it is the first confrontation of the ‘Big 3’ in the new year. McIlroy, who returned to the top of the rankings with three wins last year, is continuing his momentum by winning the DP World Tour Dubai Desert Classic, which he participated in for the first time this year.

Schaeffler has fond memories of this tournament. He won his first PGA Tour victory in this event last year, and starting with this victory, he swept 4 new wins in 2 months until the Masters Tournament, rising to the top of the rankings at once. He faltered in the second half and lost first place to McIlroy, but he is aiming for a rebound again.

Ram’s rise is also noteworthy. Ram won the Sentry Tournament of Champions and the American Express this year, winning two victories in January alone.

Joohyung Kim also competes with the top rankers. Kim Joo-hyung, who recorded two wins last year and quickly established himself as a ‘young gun’ that attracted attention, signed a sponsorship contract with Nike, the world’s largest sports brand. Entering 2023, he has not yet achieved significant results, but in this tournament where top rankers are all out, his guts are expected again.

In addition, Kim Si-woo (28), who won the first championship of the year at the Sony Open last month, Lim Seong-jae (25), and Lee Gyeong-hoon (32, CJ Logistics) will also be on the lookout.

There was no case of a Korean player winning this tournament, which started with the Arizona Open in 1932. As an Asian player, Hideki Matsuyama (Japan) won two consecutive titles in 2016-2017.