Tag Archives: Golf

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19-Year-Old Shoots Lowest Ever Major Round, Still Contending At The Evian

South Korean teen golfer Hyo Joo Kim made the history books Thursday when she became the first ever player to shoot lowest in a major tournament for both men and women at 10-under 61 in the first round of the Evian Championship in France.

Only two women shot 62 in a major tournament–Minea Blomqvist of Finland at the 2004 British Open and Mexico’s Lorena Ochoa at the 2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship. For men, 26 different players have shot a record low 63. Jason Dufner is the most recent to hit that figure at the U.S. PGA Championship last year as he went on to win the tournament.

“I like a hard course,” Kim said after Thursday’s first round, according to ESPN. “I felt very comfortable today. I made a chance [for] a birdie on every [hole]. I missed some [but] it didn’t matter.”

Kim, just 19, is relatively a less heralded golfer from South Korea, which has produced some of the LPGA’s biggest talents, including the World Golf Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak and Inbee Park, last year’s LPGA Player of the Year.

“She’s not a massive hitter but has a very decent length, and keeps up with the girls,” said Gordon Rowan, Kim’s caddie. “Her accuracy into the greens means that she’s never far away. She also has a very good temperament, and even on days when she’s fighting and putts don’t fall, she keeps going.”

At the halfway stage of the Evian, Kim is chasing Brittany Lincicome by one-shot after Friday.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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Michelle Wie’s Cool Time-Lapse Videos of Herself Painting

by REERA YOO

Michelle Wie may be laying off the golf course lately due to nursing an injury, but the LPGA golfer has been keeping herself busy with another passion — painting.  According to The Loop, the U.S. Women’s Open champion considers painting as a release for her and prefers to paint in watercolor.

Yesterday and on Tuesday, Wie showcased her beautiful painting skills using her brand new GoPro camera.  In the time-lapse videos, she paints a crowned skull with the word “dope” in its mouth and another skull with rainbow hair on a texted background. Turns out Wie is not only a great golfer and painter but also a great video editor.

Photo via Golf-web France

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So Yeon Ryu Wins Canadian Women’s Open, SKoreans Finish 1-2-3

by JAMES S. KIM

Oh, the sweet smell of victory.

“I smell like champagne right now, but I’m still so happy,” said a beaming So Yeon Ryu, who received the celebratory dousing after clinching the win at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open on Sunday.

It’s been two years since the 24-year-old pro from South Korea won a tournament, but she did so handily, finishing at 23 under to break the Canadian Women’s Open 72-hole record for scoring in relation to par by five shots, according to the Golf Channel. Though Ryu said she was a little disappointed that she fell short of Annika Sorenstam’s LPGA Tour record of 27 under, she still savored the long-awaited victory.

“I’ve been waiting so long for the champagne,” she said. “I was ready to get champagne. I put champagne on Inbee [Park] maybe more than five times. Finally, she gave it to me.”

Ryu celebrated with her fellow Korean competitors, Na Yeon Choi, who finished at 21-under, and Park, who finished at 18-under—as they respectively placed 1-2-3 in the tournament. The trio of champions also happen to be close friends; Ryu and Choi will be Park’s bride’s maids at the latter’s wedding in October, the Associated Press reported.

That friendship did not stop the three from trying to outplay each other, however. On the back nine Sunday, Choi nipped away at Ryu’s five-shot lead, cutting it down to one of a birdie and a Ryu bogey. After that, though, Ryu steadied herself through the rest of the holes to claim her third LPGA title.

“Na Yeon almost chased me down, so I was pretty nervous at that moment,” Ryu told the Golf Channel. “The really good thing is I did trust myself. I was focused on my game.”

South Koreans have now won the last three LPGA tournaments after a slow start to the season, according to the Golf Channel. Inbee Park had the only South Korean LGPA title of 2014 coming into August. Mirim Lee won the Meijer LPGA classic on Aug. 10, and Park followed up with a win at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.

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Photos via Golf Canada/Bernard Brault

Upper Deck Michelle Wie

Michelle Wie Among Featured Golfers on Upper Deck’s Exclusive Trading Cards

by JAMES S. KIM

There’s just something about sports memorabilia that tugs at our heart strings and wallets. Memorabilia producer Upper Deck has some of the best to offer, and last month, it debuted a new line of exclusive golf trading cards, with U.S. Open champion Michelle Wie among the elite golfers featured.

The 2014 Exquisite Golf Collection trading cards come in packs of six; five of them are autographed by a Tour pro. All are numbered to prove their authenticity. Each card also includes a swatch of game-worn shirts from the respective golfer. That’s right: you can own a piece of Michelle Wie’s wardrobe!

Of course, such exclusivity comes at a price. Each pack of cards averages a bit over $600.

The set also has a huge selection of Tiger Woods autograph cards, along with valuable rookie swatch cards for golf stars Graeme McDowell and Wood’s niece, Cheyenne Woods.

There are also a number of Legendary Signature and Signature Masterpiece cards that include both past and present players, from Jack Nicklaus to Arnold Palmer, and a few cards include multiple golfers and autographs. Avid golfer Michael Jordan even has his own autographed cards in the collection somewhere.

Upper Deck Rory McIlroy

Images via Golf Digest

 

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Inbee Park Defends Her LPGA Championship Title

by STEVE HAN

It was a perfect ending for Rochester’s very last LPGA Championship. The tournament lasted as long as it could, and in a two-player, sudden-death playoff, Inbee Park defended her title and notched her fifth major career victory.

Park, 26, edged Brittany Lincicome by marking the end of the LPGA Championship’s 38-year era in Rochester with clutch putts down the stretch and hoisted the championship trophy. While Lincicome later admitted that she was “shaking like a leaf” under pressure despite leading all day, Park calmly came from behind and redeemed the playoff loss she suffered at last week’s Meijer LPGA Classic.

“I think I’ve been in too many playoffs lately,” Park, nicknamed the “Silent Assassin” in South Korea, told Golfweek. “I think having the experience definitely helped. I felt a lot more comfortable after thinking that I’ve been into many playoffs, so it’ll be just another one.”

Park has shown a knack for prevailing in close contests, winning three of her last playoff battles, one of which includes last year’s LPGA Championship when she beat Catriona Matthew. Lincicome said it was Park’s experience that made the difference.

“Inbee is so darn good. It was so close,” Lincicome told the Associated Press. “I need to learn how to control the nerves a little bit more.”

Park, who in 2013 became only the fourth player in LPGA history to win three majors in a calendar year, made history again by winning two LPGA Championships on the trot.

“It definitely feels [like] a big honor to actually put my name on the trophy twice,” Park said. “[I’m] just very happy to be part of history.”

Lydia Ko, 17, finished third, only three shots behind Park.

Click here to read KoreAm Journal’s October 2013 cover story on Inbee Park.

Photo via Getty.

Michelle Wie

Michelle Wie Shines In ‘Golf Digest’ Photo Shoot

by JAMES S. KIM

Pro golfer Michelle Wie has had a fantastic 2014. In April, she won her first LPGA tour event since 2010 in her home state of Hawaii. A few months later, Wie won the U.S. Women’s Open, her first major championship (and ohhhh, did she celebrate). In the golf world, she shines, so her recent photo shoot with Golf Digest is perfectly fitting.

The 24-year-old LPGA player tweeted a few behind-the-scene shots on Sunday, showing off a gleaming mini-dress that matches the sheen of her U.S. Open trophy.

Keep your eyes peeled for the new issue. We can’t wait to see what Wie has up her sleeve for the rest of the year.

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SKorea Places Third In Global Women’s Golf Competition International Crown

by HAEIN JUNG

It was a fight to the finish at the International Crown, the first-of-its-kind, global women’s golf competition that wrapped up in Maryland this past weekend.

The “crown,” along with a hefty $1.6 million paycheck, went to Spain, but South Korea had several moments of glory, and ultimately placed third. The players were recent Manulife Financial LPGA Classic winner Inbee Park, former Korean National Golf Team member So-Yeon Ryu, 2012’s U.S Women’s Open winner Na-Yeon Choi and three-time LPGA winner I.K Kim.

On Saturday, South Korea eliminated the United States in a sudden-death playoff to win the wild-card berth. Park and Ryu both birdied the first hole.

“Normally if I lose a playoff, everything is just for me and I can handle everything,” Ryu told USA Today. “But this time I have to think about Inbee, I.K. and Na Yeon and all Korean fans and all Korean people.”

Ryu and her teammates had earlier stated that they really wanted to win the tournament to uplift their nation, still grieving from the ferry tragedy that killed more than 300 people. “That means this tournament feels more bigger than the Olympic Games,” she said at the time.

Though they came up short this time, the South Korean women certainly put up a valiant fight, winning two singles but losing two others for a four-day total of 10 points.

The event was held at nationally ranked golf course Caves Valley Golf Club in Owing Mills, Maryland.

Photo via USA Today 

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LPGA’s First ‘International Crown’ Tournament to Feature Second-Seeded Korea

by TONY KIM

For the first time ever, 32 female golfers representing the top eight ranked countries will face each other in order to bring the International Crown to their own country. The International Crown tournament will be held from July 21-27 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mill, Maryland.

The eight countries have been divided into two pools and will be competing for one of five open finals qualification spots. Pool A includes the U.S., Thailand, Spain and Chinese Taipei. Pool B includes Republic of Korea, Japan, Sweden and Australia.

The top two teams with most points during the pool stage will automatically qualify for the finals, while the third place country from each pool will compete for the final spot. Teams in the pool stage will be playing two four-ball matches from Thursday to Saturday.

On Sunday, the remaining five teams will play a singles math against every other team like a round robin tournament. The team with the most total points will be crowned the winner.

Team Korea consists of Inbee Park, the 2013 Rolex Player of the Year with 10 LPGA wins; So Yeon Ryu, the 2012 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year with 2 LPGA wins; Na Yeon Choi, 2010 Vare Trophy Winner with 7 LPGA wins; and I.K. Kim, who has 3 LPGA wins. Korea is entering the tournament as the second seed right behind the U.S. team.

Photo via LPGA