BALTIMORE (AFP) ― South Korea’s women golfers dedicated their efforts at this week’s inaugural LPGA International Crown team matches to lifting their homeland’s spirits after a ferry disaster that killed nearly 300 people.
The ferry sank on April 16 with 476 people on board, including 325 high school students, and 294 were confirmed dead.
“After that, all Koreans were feeling pretty sad. Everybody still thinks about that and all the young kids and feels really sad,” ninth-ranked Ryu So-yeon, the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open champion, said Tuesday.
“So we really want to win this tournament and give a really great energy to all the Koreans. That means this tournament feels more bigger than the Olympic Games.”
Former world No. 1 Choi Na-yeon, the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open winner, said she had calls of support from friends in her homeland who could use the boost in spirits.
“We want to encourage all the fans in Korea. They had a hard time the last few months. They call me also,” Choi said.
“We are like ferry kids so we want to make this happen not for us but for the country, for the people in Korea.”