“I was a little nervous at first surrounded by older players, but I kept calm and then my dream came true.” It was a bold statement coming from a 13-year-old girl after winning the 30th Korea Women’s Amateur Golf Championship by Kang Min-goo that took place at Yusung CC in Daejeon in June 2016. The name of the second grader in middle school is Kim Sei-young, who is now 27 years old. Her record as the youngest amateur golf champion in South Korea (13 years 5 months and 9 days) still remains intact.
During the competition 14 years ago, Kim Sei-young started Round 3 as second runner, but overwhelmed more experienced golfers such as Lee Bo-mi and Yoo So-yeon, even outperforming Jang Su-hwa in the extended round. Her formidable strength to reverse the tide of the game, for which she would be later reputed after professional debut, shone even as a girl. “Kim Sei-young was unstoppable once she got into her zone. Though young, she was confident and unswerving in the face of difficulties,” recalls Kang Hyeong-mo, the vice president of the Korea Golf Association.
After honing her skills as member of national team in 2007 and 2009, Kim Sei-young has become a major star player of Korean female golf, collecting 16 champion trophies including five in the KLPGA and 11 in the LPGA. Kim has the habit of wearing red pants for the final day, but in fact, red shirts used to be her favorite just like Tiger Woods.
The Kang Min-goo Amateur Golf Championship that brought Kim Sei-young on the limelight is kicking off again on Tuesday for three days. Marking its 44th iteration, the competition has produced a number of outstanding female champions such as Go Jin-young (2013), Kim Hyo-joo (2012), and Choe Hye-jin (2015).
Yun-Cheol Jeong firstname.lastname@example.org