At the end of every season, the KLPGA throws a big party to celebrate the achievements of Korean women golfers in the previous year. The full name of the party this year is the 2010 Hi-Mart KLPGA Awards Show, and it took place the evening of December 8th in Seoul at the Lotte Hotel World Crystal Ballroom. The event is televised in Korea, and the ladies go all out, dressing in beautiful dresses and walking a red carpet before the gala.
Besides giving out awards, the event usually involves a few interesting twists. In the last few years, for instance, several of the top stars on tour have entertained the guests by performing splashy production numbers. This year, there was almost no word in the Korean press about what they might do to follow last year’s salsa number or KPop extravangaza. They intended it to be a surprise; watch the show and see what they would do!
In the past couple of years, first Jiyai Shin, then Hee Kyung Seo, dominated the proceedings, winning most of the offered awards. This year another superstar collected most of the hardware: Bo Mee Lee. Lee won four awards: most wins, money list, Player of the Year and low scoring average.
Hee Kyung Seo went without an award this year, but they wanted to make sure she showed up, so they gave her a plum assignment: she co-hosted the show! This is another tradition at the event, having one of the more fashionable and attractive of the KLPGA golfers act as co-host. In the past, Young Kim, Jin Joo Hong and, last year, Kyeong Bae, have filled that role.
The opening number this year was a harmony number with a dozen or so golfers clad in Christmasy wraps. They performed several numbers from the ABBA musical Mama Mia, including ‘I Have a Dream’ and ‘Honey Honey’.
Several ladies won awards for being first time winners on tour this year. Two of them were among the top players on tour this year: Shin Ae Ahn and Soo Jin Yang, who both finished in the top five on the money list.
Yang in addition collected this year’s Most Popular award, and was very pleased with the honor!
The Rookie of the Year award went to Yoon Ji Cho.
Representing the Koreans on the LPGA, Na Yeon Choi won the award for best Korean golfer playing on that tour. Choi led the LPGA’s money list and also won the Vare Trophy for low scoring average in 2010.
Ran Hong was another lady who won on tour this year and made a brief appearance on stage.
Young amateurs who are the stars of the future were also honored. KLPGA legend Ok Hee Ku presented a scholarship fund to two promising young teen amateurs, Hyo Ju Kim and Jee Hee Kim. Expect to see them on the KLPGA tour in the near future!
But where was Bo Mee Lee? The star of the evening was nowhere to be seen! As it turns out, she qualified last week for the Japanese LPGA tour, and this week they have a mandatory new player orientation that forced her to skip the Awards Show. I’m sure she was very sad to have to miss her big night!
All in all, it was still a great night, even with the absence of the big star of the night. Congratulations to the ladies of Korean golf!
Addendum: Thanks to BangkokBobby for noticing these video clips on YouTube of this year’s KLPGA award show! Enjoy! (PS – yes, they are in Korean!)
Congratulations to Na Yeon Choi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS5BchkMekU
Top Players get flowers: So Yeon Ryu, Hee Kyung Seo, Ran Hong, others; and first time winners get awards (Shin Ae Ahn, Soo Jin Yang, etc.): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UlhQ_5dk2A
Hokak does a number for the golfers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJlpE7sOZvE
Hokak gives flowers to Soo Jin Yang: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxe1oEFoCww
Another number for the ladies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwLGukMV6KQ