Tag Archives: Golf

MichelleWieIceBucketChallenge

Michelle Wie Takes The ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

by STEVE HAN

It’s the weirdest fad (granted, for a good cause) that developed in recent months in the sports world. The ice bucket challenge requires participants to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads. On top of doing that, the person also donates $50 to the Kay Yow Fund before nominating three other athletes to take part in the campaign. The Kay Yow Fund helps support scientific research and related programs focused on women’s cancers.

For athletes who’d rather keep their heads warm and dry, they can choose to donate $250 instead.

LPGA pro Michelle Wie, who recently won the U.S. Women’s Open, was among the latest athletes to accept the challenge. Here’s the video.

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Michelle Wie Wins The U.S. Open

by JULIE HA

She did it. Michelle Wie just scored the biggest win of her career.

Just minutes ago, the 24-year-old golfer won the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst, with a two-shot victory over the No. 1-ranked Stacy Lewis.

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is happening,” Wie said on NBC, reacting to the career milestone.

Anyone who’s followed Wie’s roller coaster career, which began which so much promise and anticipation, but didn’t always produce the big wins, will appreciate the significance of this victory for the Korean American, who began playing golf at age 4. In today’s play, the Stanford graduate displayed the maturity of a champion, after recovering from  a late double-bogey 6 on the 16th hole and nailing a 25-foot birdie putt on the 17th.

One NBC golf commentator summed it up, remarking, “We’ve been talking about Michelle Wie forever—the ups and downs … This is a pretty cool moment.”

Wie seems to be on a roll, making her previous, four-year winless streak a thing of the past. In April, she won the LPGA LOTTE Championship in her home state of Hawaii, which was her first LPGA victory since 2010.

Photo via Getty Images.

HSBC Women's Champions - Day Three

17-Year-Old Lydia Ko Becomes TIME’s 100 Most Influential People

Photo via Getty Images

Lydia Ko, the youngest golfer ever to win a professional event, became one of TIME’s 100 most influential people, according to the weekly newsmagazine.

Ko, who celebrated her 17th birthday last Thursday, is the fifth female pro golfer to make the annual list after Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Yani Tseng and Michelle Wie.

On this year’s list, the Korean New Zealeander is also one of only five athletes, including tennis player Serena Williams and soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, football player Richard Sherman and basketball player Jason Collins. She is one of only two teenagers alongside Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, an international symbol of education rights for girls.

“Lydia Ko is exceptionally talented, mature beyond her years and well liked by golf fans and competitors alike,” said Sorenstam, an eight-time LPGA player of the year, who did the write-up about Ko for TIME. “She is responsible for sparking increased interest in our sport not just in her native South Korea and adopted homeland of New Zealand but also among juniors across the globe.”

Ko rose to prominence as a 15-year-old phenom when, as an amateur, she became the youngest ever to win a professional golf event at the 2012 Canadian Women’s Open. She won the same event the following year and turned professional a few months later.

On Sunday, Ko won her third LPGA event at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic ahead of Stacy Lewis, an eight-time winner on the tour.

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Monday’s Link Attack: SKorean Credit Card Breach; LPGA Pro Called Jenner’s ‘Mystery Woman’; Pyongyang Marathon Hosts Foreign Tourists

Hurst laughs off being called Jenner ‘mystery woman’
NBC Golf Channel

LPGA pro Vicky Hurst unwittingly became “the mystery woman” hugging Bruce Jenner when paparazzi captured them outside a Chipotle restaurant Friday in Malibu, Calif.

The story ran under this headline in the British Daily Mail’s online edition: “Bruce Jenner wears wedding band on right hand embracing mystery woman in Malibu.”

Jenner, the decathlon gold medalist in the ’76 Olympics, is married to Kris Jenner, previously Kris Kardashian, mother to the Kardashian siblings of reality TV fame. Celebrity news sites have been abuzz over the separation and now reports of a possible reconciliation of the couple.

Citigroup Says Client Data Leaked at Korean Consumer Credit Unit

Bloomberg

Citigroup Inc. (C:US) and Industrial Bank of Korea (024110) said client information was leaked from their South Korean leasing and consumer credit units, the latest instances of data breaches at financial firms in the country.

Authorities found 17,000 instances of leaks of information including names and phone numbers, Citigroup Korea Inc. said in an e-mailed reply to Bloomberg News questionstoday. The company was informed of the breaches by the prosecutors’ office in February, it said. The same number of leaks occurred at Industrial Bank of Korea’s IBK Capital Corp., company official Shin Dong Min said by phone from Seoul, declining to elaborate.

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N. Korea blasts reunification offer as ‘psychopath’s daydream’
Yahoo

North Korea on Saturday blasted South Korean President Park Geun-Hye’s proposal on laying the groundwork for reunification through economic exchanges and humanitarian aid as the “daydream of a psychopath”.

The blistering attack from the North’s powerful National Defence Commission (NDC) was the first official reaction from Pyongyang to a proposal Park made in a speech last month in Dresden in the former East Germany.

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North Korea Marathon Opens Pyongyang Streets to Foreign Tourists

NBC News

Pyongyang was filled with runners from all over the world on Sunday for the annual marathon, open to foreign amateurs for the first time.

Nancy Q: Wie finds way to make odd putting stroke work
The Tennessean

The putting stroke is the one skill that can take on a totally different look from one player to the next. That has never been more evident then when watching the putting style of LPGA Tour player Michelle Wie.

Two years ago I witnessed Wie putting at the Navistar Classic. I was very surprised at how “bent over” she was in her setup. So was every other golf instructor and golf critic in the country! In an interview that week, I heard her say she was the one who decided on that putting style, not David Leadbetter, her teacher of many years.

Learning in reverse brought Kogi chef Roy Choi to the top
LA Times

All roads lead back to the Kogi truck.
“It’s like my ‘Sweet Caroline’ and I’m Neil Diamond,” Roy Choi said. “I’ll never be able to outlive Kogi. Kogi is a beast.”
The chef was attempting to articulate what spawning that marvel of Korean barbecued ribs enveloped in tortillas has meant to him in front of a crowd at the 19th-annual L.A. Times Festival of Books. The sprawling two-day event at USC features readings, screenings, musical performances and cooking demonstrations.

The kimchi revolution: How Korean-American chefs are changing food culture
Salon

In a recent interview with food writer Michael Ruhlman, celebrity travel/food writer Anthony Bourdain said that “when you look at all the people who are sort of driving American cuisine right now, they’re all Korean American.” By “all,” he mostly meant “both,” since his list boiled down to two: David Chang and Roy Choi.

Roy Choi is best known as the L.A. Korean taco truck guy, and David Chang is the founder of the Momofuku restaurant group as well as the cult food publication “Lucky Peach.” Bourdain probably intended to mention Edward Lee in this interview as well, insofar as he’d praised Lee’s cookbook, “Smoke and Pickles,” by calling him one of “America’s most important young chefs.”

World Bank’s Kim urges SA to cut red tape around investment
Business Day

WORLD Bank president Jim Yong Kim says countries such as India, South Africa and others in Africa with massive infrastructure programmes should limit red tape to make it easier for investors to bring in the billions of dollars such large projects require.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring meetings on Thursday.

The South African government plans to invest more than R800bn over the next three years on energy, road, rail, school and municipal infrastructure and has called on the private sector to participate. It has identified infrastructure development as one of the areas that can create jobs and provide skills for millions of unemployed people.

Out of the blue
Economist

FORAGING in South Korea’s mountains may soon become more fruitful. Since a wild ginseng digger reported the wreckage of a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on April 3rd, the South’s ministry of defence has been ruminating on rewards for anyone who spots an enemy drone. The report followed the discovery of two other similar aircraft: on March 24th in Paju, a border city; and on March 31st on Baengnyeong island, near the disputed Northern Limit Line which demarcates the two Koreas’ maritime border. North Korean inscriptions on the planes’ batteries; an ongoing military investigation into their engines, fuel tanks and weight; and the sequence of the photographs found stored in one of the plane’s cameras suggest the drones were sent from North Korea. For others, their sky-blue camouflage paintwork, identical to that on larger drones paraded in the capital Pyongyang two years ago, was a giveaway.

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Friday’s Link Attack: Shari Song Enters State Senate Race; Samsung Galaxy S5 Hits Shelves; In-bee Park Awarded Player of the Year

Shari Song to run for key state Senate seat Seattle Times

Democrats have finally recruited a candidate for the key state Senate race in South King County’s 30th district — Shari Song, a real-estate agent who last year unsuccessfully challenged Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn. Song, however, will have to combat carpetbagging charges as she is moving from Bellevue to Federal Way just in time for the race. In a Thursday news release, Song stressed her ties to the district, noting that she previously lived there for years, founded the Federal Way Mission Church Preschool and served on the Federal Way Diversity Commission. She said she was moving back to be closer to husband’s elderly parents.

Korean-Born Woman Back in French Cabinet Chosun Ilbo

Fleur Pellerin has been appointed to France’s top foreign trade post after the Korean-born woman stepped down as deputy minister for small business and digital economy. Pellerin (41) was named state secretary for foreign trade, tourism on Wednesday in the roster of new ministers after a cabinet reshuffle last week.

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Assemblyman Ron Kim slams Tiger Mom author Amy Chua for sending the wrong message Daily News

Call him the Tiger Mom slayer. Assemblyman Ron Kim, the first Korean-American elected to the state Legislature, slammed “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” author Amy Chua on Thursday, saying her latest tome about cultural distinctions “sends the wrong message.” Just two days before the Flushing assemblyman is slated to speak at a conference for Asian-American students at SUNY Albany, Kim took a shot at the controversial author’s new book, “The Triple Package,” which hit bookshelves January.

Apple and Samsung trial judge orders court to turn phones off Irish Independent

US District Judge Lucy Koh has become increasingly frustrated during the first few days of the trial of Apple versus Samsung as the many personal Wi-Fi signals interfere with a network the judge relies on for a real-time transcript of the proceedings. The phones also ring, vibrate and can be used to take photos; a serious violation of court rules.

Park In-bee Collects Female Player of Year Award at Augusta Chosun Ilbo

World No. 1 Park In-bee was officially named Female Player of the Year at the annual Golf Writers Association of America awards at Augusta, Georgia on Wednesday. She collected the gong one day before the Masters, the first major of the U.S. PGA season, got under way at Augusta National Golf Club in the city. Park claimed six titles on the LPGA Tour last year, including a historic run that saw her win the first three majors of the season. This helped her garner an overwhelming majority of 91 percent when the association held its ballot in January to determine who should receive the award for 2013.

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90% of Foreigners Would Date a Korean Chosun Ilbo

Some 90 percent of foreigners would be happy to date a Korean, a straw poll by a dating sitesuggests. Korea’s largest matchmaking company Duo and social media side Korspot in a survey asked 1,147 people in North America, Southeast Asia and Europe whether they would to date a Korean — 505 men and 642 women — and 90 percent said yes.

Can Samsung’s Galaxy S5 take on the next iPhone? CNBC

Galaxy S5 boasts a variety of new features, but does it have what it takes to prevent users from jumping back on the Apple bandwagon when the next generation iPhone with a potentially larger-screen is launched? The new flagship Android smartphone is being rolled out worldwide on Friday amid an increasingly tough environment for smartphone makers as the industry moves toward commoditization. The phone’s stand-out features are its ability to survive when submerged in water, or to act as a heart-rate monitor for personal-fitness tracking. There is also a fingerprint scanner for biometric screen locking – a feature introduced by Apple in its iPhone 5S last year.

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Holt under inspection after adoptee’s death Korea Times

Holt Children’s Service being inspected for its practice of sending adoptees in and outside of Korea, after a 3-year-old sent to the U.S. through the agency was allegedly beaten to death by his adoptive father. The Ministry of Health and Welfare said Wednesday that it has been inspecting the adoption agency since Monday over its adoption procedures, and the commission fees it receives from foster parents for adoption. Holt authorities said that inspectors were looking into its financial statements.

Survey shows the effects of smartphone addiction Korea Joong Ang Daily

One out of every five students residing in Seoul is addicted to smartphones, the city government announced on Tuesday, a trend it claims has contributed to a rash of societal problems, such as cyberbullying. The figure is part of the results of a survey of 4,998 students in the fourth through 11th grades across 75 schools in Seoul who were evaluated over two weeks last November on a diagnostic scale developed by the National Information Society Agency.

Yuna Kim to perform to ‘Frozen’ soundtrack in farewell ice shows NBC Sports

Yuna Kim‘s program for her farewell ice shows next month will include music from the Disney animated film “Frozen,” according to Arirang News. The 2010 Olympic champion and 2014 silver medalist will open her shows May 4-6 in Seoul by performing to the song “Let it Go” from the film. She will skate to other song medleys from “Frozen,” too, according to the report. Kim’s closing performance will be to Francesco Sartori‘s “Time to Say Goodbye.”

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October Cover Story: Inbee Park is the Story of the Year in Women’s Golf

Steady as She Goes

How Inbee Park, the so-called “Silent Assassin,” became the story of the year in women’s golf.

story and photos by MARK EDWARD HARRIS

In the game of golf, it’s not just how you handle your club, it’s how you handle yourself. In 2013, Inbee Park epitomized that statement.

“Very low key,” Brittany Lincicome, one of the longest drivers in women’s golf, characterized Park. “She goes with the flow, and that’s what you need out here.”

“The way she plays the game, it’s so steady,” said Paula Creamer, the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open champion.

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“You would think, after winning two of them, it would faze her a little bit,” said Stacy Lewis, whom Park replaced as the No. 1 women’s professional golfer in the world this past April. “But obviously at [this year’s] U.S. Open, it didn’t. Inbee is playing so good this year, and she’s so steady. You wouldn’t know whether she’s winning a tournament or whether she’s losing it, and that’s what you need in a major. As a player, you’d like to know if she’s human, to see if she actually feels the nerves like the rest of us do.”

Park is, in fact, human. She’s also quite a remarkable athlete. She captured the attention of the world with her phenomenal performance this year—winning a stunning three consecutive majors at the start of the season. That achievement is matched only by the legendary Babe Zaharias, who reached this feat in 1950.

“Trying to put my name next to hers means just so much,” Park said, after this year’s U.S. Open win that tied the record. “I would think I would never get there; it’s somewhere that I’ve never dreamed of. But all of a sudden, I’m there.”

In the past 16 months, Park has won eight LPGA titles. This year alone, she has won six times—half of them at majors—and amassed more than $2 million in prize money.

But, again, she’s human. And when the eyes of the world focused on the 25-year-old “Silent Assassin” from South Korea, as she launched her bid to make golfing history and become the first person to win four professional majors in a single season, she showed that her nerves aren’t made of steel and that her stellar signature putting isn’t infallible. She had two chances to nab a fourth major, at the Women’s British Open in August and at the Evian Championship last month, but fell short on both occasions.

In the lead-up to the tournaments, the media build-up around Park’s potential history making was incredible.

Having won her first major at age 19, Park is no stranger in the LPGA. But it was not until this year that she has shown the golf world what she’s capable of on a consistent basis. More than that, after the U.S. Open victory, suddenly, women’s golf—which has long struggled to match the popularity of the PGA—was making headlines.

Lots of them:

“Inbee Park on Verge of Golfing Immortality,” speculated CNN.

“Inbee Park Lines Up Her Grand Slam,” wrote the New York Times.

“Golf’s Queen of Serene,” the Wall Street Journal dubbed her.

“It’s been great for women’s golf, what Inbee has done this year,” said Lewis, the 2012 Rolex Player of the Year. “It’s good to see she’s finally getting the attention she deserves.”

Angela Park (no relation), the 2007 LPGA Rook of the Year who played junior golf with Inbee, credited her not only for raising the profile of the LPGA, but also for “setting new goals for other fellow athletes to achieve.”

Even the top players in the PGA couldn’t help but weigh in on this story of the year for women’s golf.

“It’s hard enough just to win one major, as I’ve found out throughout my career,”said Phil Mickelson, during a news conference at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio. “And to win three in a row like that is just amazing.”

Only Tiger Woods and Mickey Wright have held four professional majors at the same time, though they were accomplished over two seasons.

“It’s pretty incredible to win the first three,” Woods said, also from the Bridgestone Invitational. “And the way she did it … executing, and it seemed like she just is making everything….It’s really neat to see someone out there doing something that no one has ever done, so that’s pretty cool.”

At the Women’s Canadian Open in August, KoreAm asked Park why she thinks this has been such a banner year for her. “I don’t really have a good answer for that,” she said. “It just clicked.”

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“I learned a lot from finishing second many times last year,” she also said. “So after that kind of experience, this year when I’m in contention, I feel a lot more comfortable, and I have a lot more confidence to win.”

Since April of this year, Park has been the No. 1-ranked player in the Women’s World Golf Rankings, and despite the most recent disappointing outings, she closes out the 2013 season at the very top.

The journey to No. 1 started 15 years ago in Korea, when a 10-year-old Park heard a ruckus in her home one night. The way the story goes, she went downstairs and discovered her father watching Se Ri Pak on TV, as the latter became the first South Korean to win the U.S. Women’s Open.

“Korea was struggling at the time. I know that my dad saw a lot of hope just from watching her play,” Park told the popular South Korean interview show, Healing Camp, last month. “I remember him screaming outside at midnight with our neighbors. That’s when I saw [Pak] play, and I started dreaming of playing golf as well.”

Prior to that, Park said, though her father and grandfather were huge golf fans, she didn’t think it was that fun. But after watching Pak, who would go on to become a Hall of Famer, she was inspired.

Within two years, her mother would take a 12-year-old Inbee and her sister Inah to the United States, so they could both play golf and study at the same time, while their businessman father stayed behind in Korea.

“In the U.S., even if you’re a student-athlete, they’ll never lighten your workload in school classes,” Park explained on Healing Camp. “You have to be in classes until 3, and then only practice for three hours after that. So I’m still not a player who practices a lot. So most Koreans question my amount of practice time, but really, practice is more about quality and less about quantity.”

The move to America paid off early, with Park winning nine tournaments on the American Junior Golf Association circuit and becoming a five-time Rolex Junior All-American. After graduating from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas in 2006, Park wanted to turn pro, but her request for LPGA permission to attempt to qualify as a 17-year old was denied. Rules require that a player be 18 to join the Tour.

Meanwhile, she received scholarship offers from Harvard and Yale, but didn’t accept either because she wouldn’t have been able to turn pro. Instead, she enrolled at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, close to where she lived. She would soon leave the school, however, to go pro, playing on the Duramed Futures Tour where the age of entry had been lowered to 17.

By 2006, she recorded 11 top-10 finishes on the Futures Tour, finishing third on its season-ending money list, which earned her exempt status on the LPGA Tour for the 2007 season. During her rookie season in the LPGA, she finished 37th on the money list and fourth in the Rookie of the Year standings.

It didn’t take long for her to prove that she should be playing with the pros. In 2008, at age 19, she became the youngest player to win the U.S. Women’s Open. From that point on, she was deemed South Korea’s next rising star. But rise she did not. She struggled through a dry spell, going nearly 18 months without another top-10 finish. In 2009, she ended the season 50th on the LPGA official money list.

Park admitted that marked one of her most difficult periods in her relatively young career.

“I wanted to give up,” she recalled. “Golf was giving me so much stress. I was young then and felt if I weren’t playing golf, my life would be stress-free. Back then, I just couldn’t handle that kind of stress.

“I really thought that I wasn’t ever going to be able to win again.”

But Park would break that winless streak in 2012, scoring her second LPGA title at the Evian Masters (which, this year, was recognized as women’s golf’s fifth major), where she earned a two-shot victory over Stacy Lewis and Karrie Webb. At Evian, Park, known for being one of the finest putters in the game, one-putted 11 greens.

The win also gave Park a much-needed boost of confidence. That year, she would go on to finish in the top three in 9 out of 24 tournaments she played, and topped the LPGA in money earned and scoring average.

Many, including Park, have credited her fiancé, Gi Hyeob Nam, who became her swing coach last year, for her improved game. He noticed she had an erratic swing and helped her fix her early release. The result has been more consistent driving and iron play.

At the Canadian Open in August, Park reflected on her dramatic turnaround.

“I had my bad times after the win at the U.S. Open in 2008, and I wasn’t experienced, or I wasn’t used to the Tour,” she said. “My game was just not ready yet. But over time, I worked on everything very hard, and little by little, it improved, I think, every year.”

That improvement was on full display by this year’s U.S. Women’s Open, held in Southampton, N.Y., in late June. Park was the clear favorite, riding on her victories at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April and the Wegmans LPGA Championship earlier in June.

And, this time, she did not disappoint. Three South Koreans would, in fact, vie for the title. I.K. Kim would come the closest, chipping into the lead with a birdie on the second hole on the final round, but that was followed by a bogey on the fourth. Though Park would make back-to-back bogeys at four holes, she would cancel them out with birdies. Park would sail to a comfortable win, finishing at 8-under, four strokes ahead of Kim. So Yeon Ryu, the 2011 winner, finished third at 1-under.

“To be honest, yeah, it’s time to win it,” Kim said, after the tournament, speaking of her own desire to clinch her first major. “But I think things have to come naturally, and it’s great to play with Inbee. She’s doing so well. Seeing her doing it, it just makes me want it more.”

After Park made the final putt on 18, Ryu and Na Yeon Choi, last year’s U.S. Women’s Open champ, sprayed Park with champagne. Korean players have notably won six of the last eight majors.

“I think everybody is inspiring each other, and when your friends are playing so good, you want to play as good as them,” said Park. “I think that pressure is really good.”

After Park’s win at the U.S. Open, it seemed all eyes were on her, as everyone from ESPN to NPR to the New York Times was seemingly champing at the bit to hang a fourth, history-making major on her. After all, she had two chances to do that—first at the British Open in August, and then at the Evian in September. But Park encountered some trouble, first, at the British Open.

“I left a lot of shots on the greens,” said Park at the time. “The greens were really tough to judge the speed; they were great one minute, [the next] minute they were slow.”

She would finish two strokes behind Lewis, who would take the trophy. Park later said that she was somewhat relieved the tournament was over, indicating that nerves may have gotten to her.

“Everybody has been watching me,” she said. “It feels a bit weird because I get to do an interview when I shot 6-over par today.

“It’s something I’ve never experienced before. It’s been a great experience. I might not have won this week, but I’ve learned a lot.”

At Evian the following month, Park faltered even more, finishing far out of contention, as Norway’s Suzann Pettersen would pull out the win, but with teenage phenom Lydia Ko, a Korean New Zealander, only two strokes behind her.

And just as quickly as attention swarmed Park, following her historic win at Southampton, it seemed eyes began shifting toward Ko, who, in August, won her second Canadian Open. She’s 16 and still an amateur, so she couldn’t collect the purse, but, already, the bespectacled teen has become the one to watch.

Despite the anti-climatic ending to the season for Park, she’s got plenty to enjoy from 2013—and one senses from her remarks to the media before she failed to clinch a fourth major, that she knows that.

“Whether I win this week, whether I don’t, the last two days, what I experienced was great,” she said just before the British Open. “You know, if I can handle this kind of pressure, if I face this kind of pressure, I’m really not afraid of any kind of pressure from now on in my career.”

The truth is, even without the Grand Slam victory, Park should rest assured that her name will be recorded in the golf history books. In addition to nabbing three in a row and earning the respect of the best golfers in the LPGA and PGA, she—a woman of color, for whom English is a second language, who once joked that she’s got an “athlete’s body”—helped raise the profile of women’s golf in 2013.

That’s a feat that has long eluded the LPGA, which seemed more apt to use sex appeal to try to do that. Park did it just by playing amazing golf, game after game after game.

As for the future, Annika Sorenstam, a three-time U.S. Women’s Open and 10-time major winner, perhaps said it best when she stated on broadcast TV, “[Park] can still improve in some areas, and that’s a scary thought.”

KoreAm’s Julie Ha and Steve Han contributed to this story.

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This article was published in the October 2013 issue of KoreAmSubscribe today! To purchase a single issue copy of the October issue, click the “Buy Now” button below. (U.S. customers only. Expect delivery in 5-7 business days).

Four Korean Americans Qualify For LPGA Tour

Korean American women continue to shine in professional golf with four young women earning their full LPGA tour cards yesterday at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.

Christine Song, 20, of Fullerton, Calif., was the best of the quartet finishing second with a total of 8-under par in five rounds of golf.

Song earned two wins on the second-tier tour in 2010 to finish third on the money list and had her first taste of the LPGA Tour in 2011, according to the Chosun Ilbo.

But due to an underwhelming season, Song was forced to go through the Qualifying Tournament again to reconfirm her berth.

The top 20 among the 142 golfers competing in the Qualifying Tournament are given a full seed on the LPGA Tour next season.

Jennie Lee, the 2005 U.S. Junior champion, came third after shooting 4-under, Angela Oh took a share of 9th after finishing at 3-over, and Hannah Yun was one stroke behind to place 15th. They all qualified for the Tour.

See the full results of the tournament at LPGA.com.

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Friday's Link Attack: Robot Prison Guards, MMA Fighter Ben Henderson, Chang-Rae Lee

Robot Prison Guards Roll Out
Wall Street Journal

As it seeks to become a leader in robotic technology, South Korea is about to put a new type of droid through its paces: a robot prison guard.

Under a project sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, trials of the robots will be held for a month at a jail in the city of Pohang, southeast of Seoul, from March. The robots are designed to patrol the corridors of corrective institutions, monitoring conditions inside the cells. If they detect sudden or unusual activity such as violent behavior they alert human guards.

Did the Novel ‘Native Speaker’ Foreshadow The Liu Fundraiser Scandal?
Wall Street Journal

A councilman from Queens, an Asian immigrant who’s traveled the striver’s path to success, rises to New York’s political heights with the support of a multicultural coalition of voters. His reformist zeal and unique ability to unite fragmented factions — blacks, Latinos, Asians and labor — make him a media darling and a serious contender for what some call the second-most powerful office in America: mayor of New York. But when an Asian American agent is sent undercover to probe the roots of his success, allegations of an illicit immigrant money ring surface, threatening to derail this rising star’s ambitions.

You might recognize this as the story of city comptroller John Liu, who’s gone from Flushing, Queens councilman to putative frontrunner in the race to replace Mayor Bloomberg in 2013 — only to have that status rocked last week by the high-profile arrest of one of his major fundraisers, Oliver Pan, over alleged financial improprieties. Liu, New York City’s chief financial officer and the first Asian-American to hold citywide office, said in a statement that he was “saddened” by the allegations: “If it is true, then the conduct was clearly wrong and my campaign was not told the truth.”

Uncannily, however, the controversy also happens to mirror the basic plot of a novel written in 1995: Chang-Rae Lee’s acclaimed PEN/Hemingway award-winning debut, “Native Speaker.” Reached in Princeton, where he’s a professor of creative writing at the university’s Lewis Center for the Arts, Lee admits to being a bit spooked by the seeming coincidence.

Martin Scorsese Gives a Thumbs Up to UCI Professor Kyung Hyun Kim’s Cinema Book
O.C. Weekly

​It’s not often that an academic tome–even one related to film–snags a forward written by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, whose latest movie Hugo coincidentally opens nationwide today.

But Kyung Hyun Kim, UC Irvine’s associate professor of East Asian languages & literatures and film & media studies, won those bragging rights, and like else everything in Hollywood it all started with the right connections.

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U.S. ambassador to Seoul confident of enduring ties with Korea
Korea Herald

U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Sung Kim expressed confidence in the resilience of the ties between his country and South Korea, saying he believes the friendship between the U.S. and the country of his birth will survive any challenge.

In his second blog post since taking office earlier this month, the Korean-American ambassador said two of his main missions here are to “strengthen and deepen” both the bilateral alliance and people-to-people ties. He is the first Korean-American to serve as Washington’s top envoy to Seoul since the sides established diplomatic relations 129 years ago.

Tales from Asia: Benson Henderson’s tour through Korea and Japan
Yahoo Sports

Last week, I was honored to be asked by the UFC to represent them in Korea and Japan. This is my first time overseas, which these days seems to put me in a minority. But I am looking forward to the great events and festivities that are lined up.

The main purpose of this trip is to visit with many of our American troops here in Korea. These men and women do so much for our country, and have to spend so much time away from their loved ones to accomplish that. We sometimes take that for granted.

I also wanted to take this trip for a very personal reason. I am a second-generation Korean-American, and I am visiting my mother’s home country. My Oma (mom) is accompanying me on this trip. Over the weekend, she will get to see many of her family members for the first time in years, and I will be meeting them for the first time EVER! Being able to share this trip with my Oma makes it so much more special.

I never really thought I’d come visit Korea until I was much older and retired, but the UFC has made it a reality. As I am writing this, we are driving through a very beautiful and slightly overwhelming downtown Seoul.

Half-Korean mixed martial artist proud of heritage
Yonhap News

Ben Henderson, a U.S. mixed martial artist born to a Korean-American mother and an African-American father, speaks only little Korean.

But that hasn’t stopped him from tattooing Korean characters onto his lithe, yet chiseled frame: his own name, as well as the words for “power,” “glory” and “warrior.”

In an interview with Yonhap News Agency Thursday, Henderson, a Colorado native, said he takes great pride in his heritage.

“I am very proud to be part-Korean, to have Korean in my blood,” Henderson said in a phone conversation Thursday. He was visiting the demilitarized zone (DMZ) as part of an ongoing tour in South Korea, and he’s also scheduled to visit U.S. troops and spend some time with his mother’s family. This is his first trip to his mother’s homeland.

“I think Koreans… have a lot of pride,” he said. “I think that’s where I get it from, from my Korean side.”

UC Berkeley student briefly sets up tent on Chancellor’s lawn, moves to Sproul
The Daily Californian

While most UC Berkeley students chose to head home for the Thanksgiving break, senior Alex Kim decided to do something decidedly different early Thursday morning.

Kim cancelled his plane ticket home and instead lugged camping equipment and his pet cat Obi to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s front lawn around 5 a.m. There he pitched a tent in solidarity with the Occupy Cal movement that has shaken the campus over the last three weeks.

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Interview with Two Brothers Making Products They Love
MYX TV

Terrence and Kevin Kim are two Korean American brothers from New Jersey who had a dream. Instead of going down the usual post-college-graduate path that most 22-year-olds follow after their education is complete, the brothers decided to pack up a suitcase each and head for Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.

Fast forward to the end of 2011, and the brothers have traveled all around China and Korea to experience the cultures of both countries by visiting factories, fabric markets, and sight seeing. Influenced by the traditional art, architecture, fabrics, dyeing, monks, etc., they decided to make their dream a reality.

Student kills mother, keeps body at home for 8 months
Korea Times

A high school student is suspected of having killed his mother and keeping the body hidden for eight months at their home after being pressured by her to get higher exam scores.

Gwangjin Police in eastern Seoul said Thursday they have requested an arrest warrant for the 18-year-old high school senior, identified as Ji, on suspicions of murdering his mother, 51-year-old Park. Ji is suspected of having stabbed his mother to death at their home in eastern Seoul at around 11 a.m. on March 13. The body was kept in her room for eight months.

According to police, Park kept telling her son that he must enter a top-class university and should rank first in nationwide exams. When he obtained lower scores than her expectations, she didn’t give him food or forced him to stay awake at night to study. Being afraid of her scolding, Ji had fabricated grade reports since middle school. His fear grew as his test scores fell after entering high school.

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New research reveals the reasons we shop on Black Friday
Washington Post

Sang-Eun Byun, an assistant professor of consumer affairs at Auburn University in Alabama, surveyed hundreds of shoppers at Zara and H&M and found that the limited availability of goods in those stores excited the customers. Even though it wasn’t Black Friday, she said her findings hold true for any shopping situation in which high-value goods are scarce.

Ordinarily, Byun said, shoppers are turned off by crowds. But when crowds create a sense of competition — such as when hundreds of shoppers are rushing to collect marked-down goods — they generate a different feeling entirely. Competition creates what’s called hedonic shopping value, or a sense of enjoyment from the mere process of buying goods.

“At certain levels, consumers enjoy arousal and challenges during the shopping process,” Byun said. “They enjoy something that’s harder to get, and it makes them feel playful and excited.”

North Korea Warns South on Maritime Drills
New York Times

North Korea warned on Thursday that any military clash on a disputed maritime border could escalate into an attack on the presidential office in Seoul, threatening to engulf the South Korean leadership “in a sea of fire.”

The threat came one day after South Korea conducted military drills near Yeonpyeong, a front-line island west of Seoul. The display of firepower was timed to mark the first anniversary of the North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong, which killed two marines and two civilians.

Hines Ward’s status unlikely to change
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hines Ward’s reduced status does not look as though it will change any time soon, which begs this question: Are we watching the final games of the brilliant career of the Steelers most prolific and decorated receiver?

Golfer Kevin Na Thanks Fans with Charity Tournament
Chosun Ilbo

Korean American golfer Kevin Na, who won his first U.S. PGA title on his 211th attempt and his eighth year on the Tour early last month, will hold a charity tournament under his name near Los Angeles on Dec. 8.

Marijuana plants worth $3 million found in Rosemead home
Pasadena Star News (Calif.)

Looks like a mullet is required to be a member of the Asian Boyz.

Deputies looking for Asian Boyz gang members wanted in a machete attack also discovered 1,400 marijuana plants worth about $3 million growing in a house on Wednesday.
In addition, authorities seized Ectasy pills and methamphetamine at a house next to the pot grow. They arrested a man and two teens for the assault plus two other people for the drug possession.

Sgt. Steve Kim of the Sheriff’s Asian Gang Team said 30 deputies served search and arrest warrants at five Rosemead locations at 6:30 a.m.

Being a TNA Knockout means everything to Gail Kim
SLAM Wrestling

It’s been a strange couple of months for current TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim. Back in August the Canadian-born grappler controversially went against instructions and eliminated herself from the Divas Battle Royal match on the August 1st episode of Monday Night Raw. A few days later Kim announced on Twitter that she had quit WWE, however, she was not permitted to leave.

What followed was a stunning standoff between WWE and their former Women’s Champion, which saw her forced to sit out the remainder of her contract. Kim’s decision to eliminate herself caused quite a bit of controversy, with some figures in the wrestling world who called her actions unprofessional, although Kim stands by the decision she made.