Rolex world No. 1 Jin Young Ko will take on No. 3 Sung Hyun Park in the Hyundai Card Super Match for charity at month’s end.
In a country that treats its best female golfers like rock stars, that’s a big deal.
“We’re hoping everybody will overcome the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible and return to normal life,” the players said in a combined statement from SEMA Sports Marketing, the Seoul-based agency that represents them. “With that in mind, we’ll try to play the best golf we can in support.”
Ko and Park are scheduled to meet in a skins match May 24 at Sky 72 Golf & Resort in Incheon. They’ll play for 100 million won ($81,510), with those winnings going to the charities of their choice.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, they will compete without fans in attendance.
Ko and Park took turns trading the world No. 1 ranking last season. They each have giant fan clubs and followings in South Korea, where LPGA TV ratings regularly beat PGA Tour ratings. In fact, in 2014, the UL International Crown matches doubled the TV ratings of the Masters. That’s the year the South Koreans eliminated the Americans in a wild-card playoff.
Ko won the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year Award last year, after claiming four LPGA titles, two of them majors. She was the LPGA’s Rookie of the Year in 2018. Park was the Rolex Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in 2017.