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17-year-old winner of Youth Olympics ready for pro stage

17-year-old winner of Youth Olympics ready for pro stage

Posted October. 11, 2014 04:47,   


There is a common factor to stars in Korean ladies pro golf. They were under the spotlight as megawatt up-and-comers from their high school days and opened ages of success on the adult scene. After the mid-2000s, Shin Ji-ae, Choi Na-yeon, and Ryu So-yeon followed that track.

This season, 17-year-old Lee So-young is making her mark. Lee, who started golf from the fourth grade, is cited as a talent who is ready for the pro stage already with her ability to perform under pressure and accurate putting despite her young age. At the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China in August, Lee was the first golf champion there. In the Incheon Asian Games, she won the team silver. She was a favorite for the individual gold, but failed to medal by caving under the pressure.

Lee’s building of her solid skills owes much to the sponsorship of Korean golf ball maker Volvik. The Korean company has provided support including scholarship, balls and caps and other equipment since 2010, creating an environment to concentrate on golf. "Thanks to the smoothness and a steady distance Volvik provides me, I was able to perform at my best," Lee said.

Volvik has invited Lee to pro tournaments at home and abroad so that she can build experience through competing with her seniors. Lee has been finishing near the top steadily in Korean, U.S. and European tours. She took sixth place in this year’s European Tour Volvik RACV Ladies Masters. "I have learned a lot by watching the high-level play of pro golfers in person," Lee said.

The young golfer plans to turn pro next year. Her steps to a bigger stage appear even lighter owing to the steady sponsor of Volvik.