Posted October. 15, 2015 07:35,
Lee Bo-mi (27, photo) got a nickname "Record Breaking Goddess" from this season of Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association (JLPGA) Tour. Winning the Stanley Cup last week, she broke a record in getting the most prize money within one season. She has won five championships this year, earning 179,540,066 yen (approximately 1.7 billion won) from the season alone. In May, Lee`s prize money of the season exceeded 100 million yen, the shortest of its history. She sounded delighted on the other side of the phone in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. "It means a lot to set new records under my name. I hope to set a record that would not be broken for several years. It is a good motivation to perform better," Lee said.
Now she has a new goal, which is to win the money list in both Korea and Japan tours for the first time. Since she crossed the ocean for Japan in 2011 after winning the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) tour in 2010, Lee has been dominating this season`s prize money of the JLPGA tour. Even with seven more competitions to go, she has practically achieved the title, money leader, as the gap between her and Teresa Lu, the second runner, is more than 50 million yen.
Lee did not start the season with this pace. She only won second places four times in a row in the first half of the season, leaving the fans worried. The result was due to her sorrow at the death of her father last September, who taught her how to grab a club for the first time and was always there for her. "I cried in the middle of practice or a meal thinking of him. I think my performance has improved because of my dad helping and cheering for me in heaven. It is sad to lose him but I think I have grown up more, she said. "My dad`s dying wish was for me to win the money list in Japan. I want to give him a good news." In order to keep her promise with her father, she only concentrated on the Japan tour in this season, not participating in any KLPGA tour or Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour.
She considers her improved putting as the key to her heyday. In this season, her average putting number is 1.754, on top of all other players. "As putting success rate increased, I have become more confident and recorded fewer bogeys." Asked what her secret for excellent putting was, she answered, "I practice every day to overcome my weakness. For 10 minutes every day, I practice on the green to draw the ball from 10 meters and 20 meters to the hole cup as close as possible and I do that about 100 times to increase my sense of distance. After that, I focus on putting at 1-5 meter distance."
Attracted by her outstanding skills and cute appearance, and touched by her sad story, a lot of Japanese have become her fan, calling her "Bo-mi Chan (chan is a suffix indicating intimacy in Japanese)." She made it on a public poll, "who comes up in your mind first when you think about Koreans?" cast by the Asahi Shimbun. Lee said, "Much more people recognize me on the street or in the airport. When my fans call my name, I just smile back. I will keep hardworking on the field and stay humble and easygoing outside the field.