Yaeeun Hong No Rookie will be in contention | LPGA

Yaeeun Hong may only be 19, but the 2022 LPGA Tour rookie has accepted the challenge that comes with competing with the best female golfers in the world. The Epson Tour alumnus, who finished tied for fourth in Stage II of the 2019 LPGA Qualifying Tournament to earn first-time membership to the 2020 Epson Tour, got her card from the LPGA Tour last December at the LPGA Q-Series. Hong made the cut on her rookie debut last week at the Gainbridge LPGA in Boca Rio, finishing T40, and is back in the thick of it at the LPGA Drive On Championship as she heads to the final day at -7 and tied for ninth. Despite being six off the lead, Hong admitted that she loves the thrill of chasing those at the top.

“When I’m in the lead, I think like running away from second, like second, someone is following me. But if I have to catch up, I can just focus on my game,” Hong said.

Hong recorded four birdies before stumbling on the 13th, where she finally hit a double bogey after feeling uncomfortable with her driver. She bounced back with a birdie off the No. 17 to close with a second-round 69 in just the fifth LPGA Tour event of her playing career. Hong knows what it’s like to be near the top of the leaderboard, landing six top 10 finishes in 2021 on the Epson Tour. She hopes to use this experience to create a career-defining moment tomorrow in Fort Myers.

“I put it in the leaderboard like a few tournaments and I thought I was not comfortable during the final round every day and like always second, top 5 and no wins,” said Hong, who has finished 16th in last year’s race. for the Map. “I think I can play easier tomorrow because it’s the LPGA and I’m a rookie, no pressure. I’m just enjoying this game and this tournament. It’ll be OK.”