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Korean Named LPGA Rookie of the Year

Posted September. 26, 2006 07:02,   


“Stone Buddha” Lee Seon-hwa of CJ clinched the title of LPGA Rookie of the Year that can be won once in a lifetime.

Lee added eleven points for the Rookie of the Year as she was ranked 39th with a 2-over 290 at the Longs Drugs Challenge that ended on September 25.

By making a total of 1,009 points so far this year, she has practically clinched the title regardless of the results of future tournaments as she has a big lead over Ai Miyazato (760 points), a Japanese golfer ranked 2nd.

Lee would be the 5th Korean LPGA Rookie of the Year after Pak Se-ri (CJ) in 1998, Kim Mi-hyun (KTF) in 1999, Han Hee-won (FILA Korea) in 2001, and Ahn Shi-hyun in 2004.

Lee said, “I am so glad to win the title, my goal since last winter training, as I’ve got exhausted by a long and tough U.S. tour life.”

Lee’s winning of the title is more meaningful because big name rookies competed over the title, including Miyazato, who passed the LPGA Qualifying School as the top of her class, and the U.S. promising golfer Morgan Pressel.

The youngest woman ever to enter the KLPGA (14 years old) and win a tour (15 years old), Lee debuted the LPGA tour after finishing atop the Futures Tour money list and made her first victory at the ShopRite LPGA Classic held in June after finishing 2nd in three tournaments.

As shown in her nickname “Stone Buddha,” Lee’s strength is her calm and relaxed character. Lee has been consistent, never missing the cut line in 23 tournaments of this year. She is ranked 10th with 853,150 dollars in the money list.

Another Korean LPGA Rookie of the Year, Lee will take off two weeks and then play at four tournaments, including Samsung World Championship and Kolon Hana Bank Championship.