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Korean Amateur Golf Champion: “I Wish This Trophy Could Be Delivered to Heaven”

Korean Amateur Golf Champion: “I Wish This Trophy Could Be Delivered to Heaven”

Posted September. 12, 2005 07:02,   


“I will pay homage to my mother’s grave on Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day) with the trophy. She would be very happy,” said Shin Ji-ae (17, a second grader at Hampyeong Golf High School), a rising star of Korean women’s golf, smiling with her eyes up to the sky after her award ceremony.

Shin fired an 11-under-par 205 to win first place in the SK Enclean Invitational of the Korean Women’s Golf Tour at BA Vista Country Club (par 72) in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, on September 11.

She is an amateur golfer at the national level, but surged past all the professional golfers in the tourney to become the winner.

Shin has been called a golf prodigy since childhood.

She displayed an exceptional ability in golf and took first place in a championship in 1999 when she was a fifth grader at Hongnong West Primary School in Younggwang, five years after she began playing golf.

However, in 2003, when she was in middle school, she was in a serious traffic accident in which her mother passed away and two younger siblings were seriously injured.

Because she was badly hurt by this at such a young age, she committed herself to golf in the face of difficult circumstances, missing her late mother.

She showed her professionalism by winning a sweeping victory over a professional championship field as well as winning a sextuple crown in the junior championships this year. Shin Jae-seob (46, a minister at the Mimoon Church in Gwangju), her father, caddied for her in the championship for the first time, making her victory more meaningful. She will make her debut as a professional golfer next year and will not have to take an test to qualify for her debut thanks to the victory.

Bae Gyeong-eun, who plays in U.S., took second place (nine-under-par) to win 100 million won, the top money earned in Korean women’s golf this year. Bae ranked at the third money earner on the LPGA second tour this year to win an LPGA Tour card for next year. Bae has also achieved top money-earner status on the Korean championship tour, which she participated in for the first time.

Song Bo-bae (Superior), Park Hee-jeong (CJ), and Moon Hyun-hee (Highmart) shared third place (five-under-par), and Ahn Si-hyun (Kolon) fired three-under-par for a share of sixth place.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com