Hwang Yoo-min, Baba Saki ‘Jangta Korea-Japan’… Simonne Asia Pacific Cup Round 1 kicks off
The Simonez Asia Pacific Cup kicks off today at Pondok Indah Golf Course in Jakarta, Indonesia.
In the first round, Hwang Yoo-min, who finished second in strokes gained on the KLPGA Tour this season, will be paired with Kim Min-byul to take on Japanese rookie Baba Saki-jo in a battle for pride.
In her rookie season this year, Hwang impressed fans with her explosive long game, which can reach over 280 yards despite her diminutive 5-foot-6 frame. His average distance is 257 yards, but the ‘little giant’ has gone over 280 yards 110 times during the season.
Baba Saki, who will face Hwang Yoo-min, is a Japanese hopeful who won the prestigious US Women’s Amateur Championship this year.
This will be her professional debut, and she possesses explosive long ball power from her 6-foot-4 frame, reportedly hitting 280 yards. As he gains experience and develops his short game, he is expected to become a world-class player representing Japan.
Korean aces Lee Da-yeon and Lee So-young, who are the same age, will play in the same group as defending individual champions Princess Mary Superior and Bianca Pagdanganan of the Philippines.
Lee has eight career wins, including two at this year’s Hana Financial Group Championship and the Chris F&C 45th KLPGA Championship, while Lee So-young has a 0-6 record, including the Daewoo Women’s Open last year, making her a strong favorite to win the tournament.
Thailand’s Ataya Thititjer, ranked No. 9, the highest-ranked player in the tournament, is paired with Jaravi Boonchant in the first round alongside Japanese favorites Nasa Hataoka and Moeka Nishihata.
Nasa Hataoka is the highest-ranked Japanese player in the world, having won the Dio Implants LA Open last year despite not winning a title this season.
Meanwhile, Kim Min-sol and Lee Hyo-song, who led Korea to its first title in seven years at the 30th World Women’s Amateur Team Championships, will face Thailand’s Ayla Galitski and Subchaya Vinichaidam in a battle of Korean-Thai amateur pride. Kim is coming off a runner-up finish behind Galitsky at this year’s Women’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships (WAAP).