In a one-of-a-kind competition played from opposite sides of the globe, the inaugural GOLFZON LPGA Match Play Challenge provided a fun and exciting Monday of golf between four major champions competing against each other on two different continents.
At 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time and 8:00 p.m. on the Republic of Korea, two-time major champion and the 2017 LPGA co-Player of the Year, So Yeon Ryu along with LPGA Hall of Fame member Inbee Park, stepped into a simulator at ZOIMARU, in Daejon, South Korea. At the same moment in St. Augustine, Florida at the World Golf Hall of Fame, two-time major champion and 2015 LPGA Player of the Year Lydia Ko along with her partner, 2018 ANA Inspiration champion Pernilla Lindberg also stepped into a simulator.
With the help of GOLFZON, the industry leader in golf simulator technology, the four competitors played two matches – one 18-hole foursomes match, and one 18-hole four-ball match – on virtual simulations of the Black Course at Bethpage State Park.
It took the players a couple of holes to get into a rhythm, but the matches turned out to be compelling. Ko made a birdie putt on the 18th hole of the foursomes competition to win 1 up.
In the four-ball match, Ryu and Park put on a tremendous display, winning 5 & 4.
“It was such a fun day,” Lindberg said. “Obviously, we wanted to win both matches but really it couldn’t have worked much better with us winning the first match and them winning the second. We figured out things and got better as the day went on. But it was really a lot of fun to be a part of (this event).”
“This concept of GOLFZON LPGA Match Play challenge is an exciting new development for the long-term relationship between the LPGA and GOLFZON," said Sean Pyun, Chief Business Officer-Asia. "Through our partnership, we’ve witnessed firsthand the type of impact they have had in the Korean golf industry, from the standpoint of growing the game of golf in Korea.
Ko was all smiles afterward, saying, “Our short games definitely improved. It was difficult but definitely a lot of fun. We expected a lot of birdies in this format and there were (a lot). But it was a lot of fun, especially for the fans watching. It ended up being the best possible outcome.”
Lindberg agreed. “It was wonderful to be able to do something like this across continents,” the Swede said. “I hope we’re able to do it again. I would definitely like to be a part of it.”
Each team won $5,000 for COVID-19 related charities.
The event aired on GOLFZON’s YouTube channel as well as on Naver TV and will air in June in the United States and on JTBC GOLF and Screen GOLFZON channels in Korea.