Lee Ye-won (20), the top player on the 2023 Korean Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour, was crowned with three titles. Im Jin-hee, 25, won both the Most Valuable Player and Player of the Year awards.
Lee won the Grand Prize, Money Prize and Lowest Stroke Average awards at the 2023 KLPGA Awards Ceremony at Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas in Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul on Tuesday. Lee, who was crowned Rookie of the Year last year without a win, won her first domestic title at the Lotte Rent-a-Car Women’s Open (April) and then swept the Doosan Weave Championship (August) and the Hite Jinro Championship (October), earning three victories and 1.424 billion won for the season, as well as the lowest scoring title (70.7065 strokes), to win the grand prize, a symbol of the best player in her second year.
“I’m still giddy,” said Lee, who stood on the podium for the third time in a white dress with countless cubes shining through. I’m proud to have achieved the target goal I set before the start of this season,” and thanked her family, saying, “My parents’ words that the process is more important than the result helped me to do my best every moment.”
In her sixth year on the regular tour, Im became the season’s top winner with four victories and was also awarded the Skill Development Award by Korean golf journalists based on her second-place finish on the Grand Prix and second-place finish on the money list (KRW 1.145 billion).
After winning two titles last year, Im won the NH Investment & Securities Ladies Championship (May), Jeju Samdasoo Masters (August), and Sangsangin Korea Economic TV Open (October), and then won the season-ending SK Shielders-SK Telecom Championship to become the only player with four wins, ahead of Lee Ye-won and Park Ji-young (three).
The Rookie of the Year award went to Kim Min-byul (19), who had the best performance of the national trio.
Despite not winning her debut title, Kim finished in the top 10 12 times, including three second-place finishes and two third-place finishes, including a runner-up finish at the Korea Women’s Open, to finish third on the grand prize and sixth on the money list, just ahead of Hwang Yoo-min and Bang Shin-sil. “I’m really honored and happy to receive the Rookie of the Year Award, which was one of my goals this year. I will strive to become a better player in the future.”
The popularity award, which was voted for by fans online in the days leading up to the ceremony, went to Park Hyun-kyung, 23, who returned to the winner’s circle after a two-year, six-month absence. Park, who was voted the most popular player five years after her debut, said, “I am standing here with the undeserved love of the fans. I am honored to receive this award, which I would like to receive once in my career.”
Ko Go-woo, Madasom, Park Bo-gyeom, Park Joo-young, Bang Shin-sil, Seo Yeon-jung, Lee Ye-won, Lee Joo-mi, Choi Eun-woo, and Hwang Yoo-min joined the Winners Club this year with their first career victories. Moon Jung-min won the Dream Tour money list and Hong Jin-joo won the Champions Tour money list.