South Korean amateur Oh Soo-min (Bong Joong Bi), a 2008 graduate of the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour, battled through inclement weather to shave five strokes off her professional sisters.
Oh shot a 5-under 67 with six birdies and one bogey on the second day of the KLPGA Tour’s 11th E1 Charity Open ($900,000) at Seongmunan Country Club (par-72, 6,602 yards) in Wonju, Gangwon Province on Sunday.
With a two-day total of 3-under-par 141, Oh is tied for 13th place, four shots off the lead, heading into the final round on Monday.
Kim Hee-ji is tied for the lead (7-under 137) after shooting 6-under par, followed by Oh Sumin, Lee Jung-min and Park Bo-gyeom at 5-under par.
The third-year junior high school amateur played better than most of the professionals and quickly moved up the leaderboard from 70th place the day before to the top 10.
This is Oh’s second KLPGA Tour start of the year, and she also had a top-10 finish at the Gyochon Ladies Open in April, tying for ninth.
At 5-foot-11, she is also a rumored long hitter. In the first round the day before, she hit her tee shot 270.6 yards, which was longer than Bang Shin-sil’s 269.2 yards, which has become known as a “long hitter” on the tour in recent years.
“It was hard because it was raining so much, but I concentrated until the end and finished well,” Oh said in an interview after the second round, smiling as he said, “My second shot and putts went well.”
“I’m usually a little less bad than others when it’s raining or windy,” he said, adding, “I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because I’m a little more focused.”
“My strength is to play hard,” said Oh, who is currently a member of the national standing army. “I think my driving distance is about 230 meters on average,” he said.
“This is the fifth time I’ve appeared in a professional tournament,” he said, adding with a tongue-in-cheek remark, “Not all amateur players are good at hitting, but only those who are good at hitting seem to be professionals.”
Among the players he’s played with, Hae Rim stands out in his mind because “she was so kind to me,” and his “role model” is Hwang Yoo Min.
“I was so nervous back then that I don’t remember what I did or how I did it,” said Oh, who also made a name for himself by appearing on TV golf entertainment programs안전놀이터, adding that he wants to become a player who surpasses Tiger Woods.
“I want to turn pro as soon as possible,” he vowed, “and with my dad (who is my caddie), I will focus on every shot and do my best to finish in the top 10.”
Oh, who was also the winner of last year’s Boys’ Championship, will head straight to this year’s Boys’ Championship after the tournament to try and win his second consecutive title.