Born in 1986, she is 37 years old. The eldest sister of Korean women’s golf, Ji-hee Lee, is confident ahead of her title defense.
Ji-hee Kim will enter the Bank of Hope Match Play, the only match-play event on the U.S. Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour, as the defending champion 안전놀이터 when it begins on Friday (Sept. 25) at Shadow Creek Golf Club (Par 72) in Las Vegas, Nevada. At last year’s event, Ji-hee became the only South Korean to win a match queen when she defeated Japan’s Ayaka Furue by three shots with two holes remaining. She also set the record for the oldest LPGA Tour victory by a South Korean player at 36 years, 17 days.
Speaking to the LPGA Tour ahead of the tournament, Ji-hee said, “I still have great memories of winning last year. I hope my luck will continue this week and I can play well.”
Her only concern is the pressure of defending her title. “On my way to winning last year, I tied on the 18th hole in the third round to advance to the round of 16. After that, I only have good memories, but I’m a little worried when I think about the third round,” she said. Ji-hee also admitted that while she was happy to win last year, she struggled physically.
At this year’s tournament, she will be paired with Lynn Grant (Sweden), Matilda Kastren (Finland), and Maddie Jericho (Kenya). “In match play, I know that if I make a mistake, I can make up for it if I’m more aggressive, and I think that’s what has led to my good results,” said Ji-hee, who has been practicing at Shadowcreek Golf Club, the tournament’s host venue. “I’m not afraid to go into the tournament more confidently than in stroke play.”
The Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play will be broadcast live on JTBC Golf for all rounds, with day one starting at 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 25.