Korean golf is trying to wash away the shame of no gold from 5 years ago, but India and China are no match for it.
The strength of the competing countries that will compete for the gold medal with Korea at the Hangzhou Asian Games is being revealed one after another. It seems likely that Korea’s biggest rivals will be India and Thailand in the men’s division and China in the women’s division.
According to MyInfo, an information site for the Hangzhou Asian Games on the 18th, India’s Anirban Lahiri and Shubhankar Sharma stand out the most among the men’s roster. Lahiri and Sharma are strong players who each won two games on the European Tour. Pachara Kongwatmai (Thailand), who finished runner-up after a playoff at the Shinhan Donghae Open held in Korea earlier this month, is also a familiar name. He leads the Thailand men’s national team along with Poom Sak Sansin. Dark horses include China’s Wu Shun, Bangladesh’s Siddiker Rahman, who won twice on the Asian Tour, and Daichi Ko (Hong Kong)안전놀이터, who participated in the Shinhan Donghae Open.
The biggest feature of golf at this Asian Games is that professional players are allowed to participate. In Korea, Lim Seong-jae (25) and Kim Si-woo (28), who are active on the PGA Tour, will again wear the Taegeuk flag following the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. It consisted of amateurs Jo Woo-young (22) and Jang Yu-bin (21). Seongjae Lim and Siwoo Kim are the stars of Korean men’s golf, with 2 and 4 wins, respectively, on the PGA Tour, while Wooyoung Jo and Yubin Jang have won once in this year’s Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Tour tournament despite being amateurs. The military service benefits associated with a gold medal are also expected to be an important motivator.
In the women’s division, it was recently announced that world No. 1 Yin Luoning (China) will participate, and it was confirmed that world No. 12 Lin Siyu and Liu Yu, runner-up at the LPGA Tour Lotte Championship in April this year, have also joined the Chinese national team. China, which is taking the LPGA tour by storm this season, is expected to show a strong performance in the Asian Games with its home course advantage. This is a golden opportunity to win the first gold medal in Asian Games golf history. In addition, Jen Beiyun (Taiwan) and Aditi Ashok (India), who are on the LPGA tour, are also heading to Hangzhou. In Thailand, signs such as Ataya Titikkun and Eriya Jutanugarn do not appear.
In Korea, a trio of high school amateurs Lim Ji-yu (18), Yoo Hyeon-jo (18), and Kim Min-sol (17) will participate. Expectations were raised by competing on equal footing with prominent pros at this month’s Korea Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) tour tournament. Minsol Kim tied for 5th place in the OK Financial Group Open, while Hyunjo Yoo and Jiyu Lim tied for 14th place in the KB Financial Star Championship and tied for 15th place in the KG Ladies Open, respectively.
The Hangzhou Asian Games golf competition will be held from the 28th to October 1st at the West Lake International Golf Course in Hangzhou, China, with four rounds for men and women. A total of four gold medals are at stake in the individual and team competitions. Korea boasts the most medals (13 gold, 13 silver, and 9 bronze) at the Asian Games in history, but in the previous competition, the 2018 Jakarta/Palembang, it returned to ‘no gold’ for the first time in 20 years.