Lee Kang-seon’s first breakthrough of 100 million won in prize money

Lee Kang-seon (73) was born on September 18, 1949, became a pro in 1971, and his membership number (TP 1971-0043) is 43.

Although he is 168cm tall, he is short for a player, but Lee Kang-seon was active in the late 80s and 90s as the owner of an ‘easy swing’ that anyone could easily and comfortably swing. His swing was neat enough to not find any superfluity in any one place without excessive movement. The ball landed a little low and flew very far.

He passed the pro test in 1971, but his first victory came in 1979 at the Oran Sea Open after eight years of waiting. It was an emotional victory, beating Han Jang-sang, the winner of the previous tournament, by one stroke. After a hard-earned first win, it took him another four years to win his second (Champion Series).

He had a lot of heartache in the early days of his career, so it took him 4 years to win 3 after winning 2 in his career. Winning the 30th Korea Open, a national title held on September 24-27, 1987, was a turning point in his golf career. It was held at Hanseong Country Club (CC), and from the first day, he took the lead by hitting 7 under par 65 strokes, and on the 4th he won with a total of 9 under par 279 strokes, beating Taiwan’s Rui Shichuben by 5 strokes.

In 1993, he won a total of 8 wins at the KPGA Championship. [Photo = KPGA]

With the experience of winning the major, two years later, in 1989, he won his 4th win in the Champion Series, and the age of 40 in 1990 is the prime time. At the Maekyung Open held at Namseoul Golf Course in April, he beat all foreign players 토토 and won by 2nd place and 3 strokes. In the following Donghae Open (today’s Shinhan Donghae Open) and professional golf tournaments, he won 3 wins in one season and won 137.64 million won in prize money, becoming the first Korean professional golfer to exceed 100 million won in prize money.

After winning the major KPGA championship in 1993 at the age of 44 and ending with 8 wins on the Korean Tour, Lee Kang-sun gradually reduced his participation in tournaments and at the same time pioneered a second life as a teacher and golf course manager.

The place where he spent his professional career was Anyang Country Club, where he served as a golf coach for Samsung Group founder Lee Byeong-cheol and then Chairman Lee Kun-hee. In 2002, he served as manager of Phoenix (Park) and later manager of Durban Golf Club, a 9-hole modern golf course opened in Icheon, Gyeonggi-do.

Professional Lee Kang-seon, who competed at the Shinhan Donghae Open last year. [Photo = Shinhan Financial Group]

Since then, on the Champions Tour, he has won 3 wins in the Grand Senior category for those aged 60 or older. Last year, he was invited to the Shinhan Donghae Open as a former champion. The easy swing, which seemed to be effortless with smooth movements, did not change much. His son, Lee Hyun-pro, works as a lesson pro and even appeared on JTBC Golf Live Lesson 70.

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