Posted by: happyfan08 | January 21, 2009

2008 Awards: It’s About Time Award

Il Mi Chung Named to LPGA’s Executive Committee
As the number of Koreans on the LPGA tour exploded over the years, it’s been interesting that the LPGA has done little to reach out to those players in an official way. For a while, Grace Park acted as a sort of unofficial liaison between the Koreans and the tour, but she never had an official position that I’m aware of.
Finally, in late 2008, the LPGA extended official status to a player of Korean origin. Il Mi Chung is currently the oldest Korean player on tour, and one of the most respected. In November she was named to the LPGA Executive Committee. This committee consists of seven players who interact in an official capacity with the LPGA Board of Directors to represent players’ interests. Among those currently on the board are Angela Stanford, Pat Hurst, Michelle Ellis and Juli Inkster. It was Ellis who contacted Chung and let her know she had been chosen to join the Committee.

Il Mi Chung

Il Mi Chung

Hopefully with Chung now having a direct line to the LPGA’s Board, we will see a lot fewer silly moves, like the English Only policy, and more respect for the Korean and other international players on tour.

Best Hot Streak
Hee Kyung Seo, three KLPGA events in a row

See ‘Best Breakthrough Performance’ for more details!

Honorable Mentions:
Vicky Hurst unstoppable on Futures Tour
Shin Calendar Year Grand Slam

Weirdest Moment
So Yeon Ryu DQed at 3rd KLPGA Major

So Yeon Ryu and He Yong Choi had a pitched battle most of the season for the Rookie of the Year honors on the KLPGA tour. Ryu started better, but Choi had the better second half of the season. Still, Ryu clung stubbornly onto her lead in the race until the third and final KLPGA Major, the KB Star Tour #4 event, where a truly odd moment cost her the crown.

The reports I read described what happened as follows. Ryu was somewhat ahead of Choi in the tournament at this point. But in the third round, on the fourth hole, she put her ball in a bunker and had an unplayable lie. She took a drop and continued playing. But there was something about the drop that was illegal; from what I read, it sounded like the ball was closer to the hole after the drop, a no no. So Ryu was DQed.

Choi at the time was well back in the standings, but in round 4, she launched one of the most amazing comebacks in KLPGA history, cruising all the way into a playoff for the title, which she lost on the second hole to Ji Yai Shin. Thanks to this strange combination of factors, Choi earned enough Rookie points to finally overtake Ryu in the standings. She would never trail again, and would go on to win Rookie of the Year.

Honorable Mention:
Michelle Wie forgets to sign her scorecard, is DQed, State Farm Classic

Favorite Photo Op
Se Ri, Kimmie on Golden Fishery

This isn’t a photo op per se, but rather a popular television show on Korean TV. The show consists of two parts; the first part features a former wrestler turned comedian and his band of cronies who do an unusual comedic interview with the guest star of the week. This show has a title that is difficult to translate into English, but is roughly equivalent to ‘Golden Fishery’.

At the beginning of the year, Se Ri Pak made an appearance on the show. This episode was one of the highest rated in the show’s history. Se Ri had a great time sparring with the hosts, and the program was even newsworthy, with the revelation that she had a boyfriend.

Se Ri Pak on the Korean show 'Golden Fishery'

Se Ri Pak on the Korean show 'Golden Fishery'

 

 

At the end of the year, it was Mi Hyun Kim’s turn. She appeared on the program with her fiancé Won Hee Lee. The program actually broadcast after their marriage, but almost certainly was shot beforehand. The hosts seemed a little more careful this time, being that Lee is a judo champion and they probably wanted to stay on his good side!

Mi Hyun Kim & fiance Won Hee Lee on the Korean TV show 'Golden Fishery'

Mi Hyun Kim & fiance Won Hee Lee on the Korean TV show 'Golden Fishery'

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