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SE RI PAK KIDS-SEOUL SISTERS COMING OF AGE
THE SE RI PAK KIDS- SEOUL SISTERS COMING OF AGE
Gary Norris Gray-BASN-Staff Reporter
At every tournament in 2016 there are at least 20 to 40 South Koreans on the golf course. There are 40-50 Seoul Sisters on the world tour led by the matriarch Se Ri Pak. The KLPGA-which is the Korean equivalent to the LPGA, keeps on producing quality golfers year after year. Pak now watches many of the young Koreans extending advice on their game at tournaments.
The LPGA saw an increase of players from Japan, China, Korea, Philippines, and Thailand. The game of golf will never be the same. Asian players began weight training and strengthened their legs for longer drives to the greens thanks to Tiger Woods and Se Ri Pak.
In 1998 the golfing world went through a dramatic change with a massive Asian influence, with players from the peninsula of Korea. The first Korean wave included Se Ri Pak, Grace Park, Kim Young, and Mi Hyun Kim. Young Korean girls at home watched these four talented golfers and wanted to emulate them. These four are also known as Seoul Sisters, their leader Se Ri Pak.
Ms. Pak opened the eyes of many golf fans with her four victories in 1998. Pak was Rookie of the Year and changed the way females played the game. Pak like Tiger Woods had long drives at the tee. Both players got a jump on many other golfers to the greens, making their shots shorter to the hole. They say that practice makes perfect and the Korea wave of golfers are making that point. These young ladies are on the golf course six hours or more and most start at the age of 6.
Golf changed with Young Tiger Woods on the men’s side with his Indonesian heritage. Likewise on the women’s side with Se Ri Pak. Woods had the experts baffled by the way he played the game, with his long drives. Pak also had long drives to the greens. Pak was tagged the female Tiger Woods, with her long drives from the Tee and had the ability to hit the greens consistently.
She started a new trend when she used her legs instead of her arms to hit long drives. Pak made other female golfers bulk up and hit longer stokes, similar to Tiger Woods who influenced that change in the men’s game.
In 1998 she was the only South Korean on the LPGA Tour and she was the first female since Babe Zaharias (1945) to make the cut at a male event. Se Ri finished 10th in the 2003 SBS Super Tournament in South Korea.
Pak entered the Hall of Fame in 2010 as her career began to wind down. She stated two weeks ago that she would be retiring at the age of 38. That will be eighteen years of playing on the LPGA tour. It was also the same weekend of one of her third wave Pak Kids took the mantle and ran with it. Jenny Shin won her first championship in Irving, Texas at the Volunteers of America Classic Shootout. Amy Yang came in second with Mi Jung Her finishing third. They are all South Korea Nationals and the third wave of Se Ri Pak Kids.
These kids now adults want to be like Se Ri Pak and are seriously taking over the women’s golf game. Twenty years ago it ruffled a few old school golfers stating that these young ladies from Asia should learn how to speak English (Jan Stephenson-Australia). Carol Mann also joined in that chorus. The LPGA attempted to force these young ladies to speak English or be forced off the tour. It did not happen because the world rallied behind the Asian players and their civil rights. Wonder what Ms. Stephenson thinks of her fellow commonwealth-women super teen Lydia Ko? Ko has taken the tour by storm the last two years and yes Ko speaks perfect English.
In 1998 LPGA Champion Se Ri Pak conducted many interviews in broken English. Years later Pak conducted her interviews with interesting and insightful thoughts on the game in fluent English.
The foreign players stayed on the PGA Tour and also learned English. So the Jan Stevenson, Carol Mann, and LPGA issue became mute and void.
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN THREE YEARS AGO ON BLACK ATHLETE SPORTS NETWORK.. After Rant Sports dot com tried to sexualize female golfers, it did not work then and it will not work now as Total Pro Sports dot com is trying again with their article on Korean Golfers last week.
The famous Seoul Sisters, led by 1998 Rookie of the Year Se Ri Pak, the big sister to the younger Korean golfers with 25 LPGA victories and 5 majors. Pak paved the way for many others from South Korea to follow.
Mi Hyun Kim in 1999 Rookie of the Year with 8 LPGA victories. Kim followed her big sister’s footsteps making it easier for more young Korean ladies to follow.
Jee Un Grace Park in 2000 was her rookie year, winning 6 LPGA championships and one major. Jeong Jang 2000 her rookie year, had 2 LPGA victories, Jee Jong Park 2000 her rookie year, with 2 LPGA victories, Hee Won Han 2001 was Rookie of the Year with 6 LPGA victories, Soo Young Kang 2001 her rookie year with her lone victory at the 2005 Safeway Classic, Christina Kim her rookie year in 2003 won 3 LPGA victories, Shi Hyun Ahn, 2004 her rookie year had one LPGA victory.
These young women are all Se Ri’s kids. They all look to Ms. Pak for leadership on the golfing links all over the world.
The Seoul Sister Parade continued with Aree Song 2004 Rookie of the Year, of Korean-Thai decent, Meena Lee 2005 rookie year with 2 LPGA victories.
Seon Hwa Lee 2006 rookie year with 4 LPGA championships.
Lydia Ko 2012 Rookie of the Year the youngest of the new Asian wave.
Champion Inbee Park in 2013 caught fire as she has won the first three majors of the year. No player has accomplished that since 1950. Park was Golfer of the Year in 2013.
The march continues with Esther Choe who is Korean American. Choe was a figure skater at a very young age but she got the golfing bug by watching her older brother and father.
The Second wave will continue with future young budding South Korean stars like Kyoung Kim, Erynne Lee, Minjee Lee,(No relations), Su Hyun Oh, and Julie Yang.
Sun Young Yoo- Her rookie year was 2006 and a member of the second wave of Pak kids. Yoo is known as the course clown and loosens players up with her act both in Korean and English.
The third wave has already hit the golf world starting with teenagers Gyeol Park who won the Asian Games gold medal in 2014 and Han Sul Ji both are rookies on the tour.
Inbee Park- Park started playing golf at the age of ten. She moved to the United States at 12 years old. She was a member of the second wave. She was the youngest to win the U.S. Open at the age of 19 in 2008 and Player of the year in 2013. Park has won 17 tournaments and 7 majors.
In Kyung Kim is also a member of the second wave. She won the Longs Drug Challenge in 2008. Kim won two LPGA tournaments her next two years.
Chella Choi- won the LPGA Sectional Qualifying Tournament in Florida in 2009 and one LPGA Tournament victory and that was in The Marathon Classic in 2015.
So Yeon Ryu won the U.S. Open Champion in 2008 and 2013 sited Pak for her inspiration to play the game like many other South Korea ladies she watched Pak in 1998.
Ha Na Jang and Mirim Lee leads the circuit with the number of hole in ones this year
Jang won the HSBC Women’s Championship in Singapore a few weeks ago and broke out in a Beyonce move in victory which did not please the South Korean faithful. Jang did not know about the accident at Changi Airport Singapore to In Gee Chun the reigning U.S. Open Champion and many Chun fans are still upset. Chun golf bag fell on her and injured her back. Jang with the victory moved her up to the 4th position on the Korean Golf Olympic team. This further angered the Chun fans. So Jang will go to Rio de Janerio with a broken heart this summer.
Mirim Lee- turned professional in 2009. Lee has won three LPGA Championships and a playoff over InBee Park in the Meijer Classic two years ago.
Su-Hyun Oh- Australian-Korean started playing at the age of nine. She was the youngest to qualify for the Australian Open at the age of 12. Her rookie year she won two tournaments on the Ladies European Tour in 2014 and Volvik RACV Ladies Masters in 2015.
Lydia Ko the New Zealand-Korean was ranked number one last year and Ko was Rookie of the Year in 2015. Ko currently is one of the greatest golfers of our time and is the most improved golfer this year. Lydia was player of the year last year and she is trying to repeat that fete this year.
In 2016 In Gee Chun and Amy Yang are battling Ko for first place for top money earners.
Michelle Wie and Christina Kim- Korean-Americans- Michelle Wie is the youngest to qualify for USGA amateur Championship at 10 years old. Wie has been a big disappointment with various injuries through the years and has only four LPGA championships. Michelle created quite the stir when she qualified for the Men’s U.S. Open in 2006.
Christina Kim is a San Jose, California native who joined the LPGA Tour in 2003. She is known for her straightforwardness and loud clothes. She had a great 2014 season with three top ten finishes and one victory.
Minjee Lee- Australian-Korean- Lee won the Australian Women’s Amateur in back to back years 2013-2014 and the number one amateur female golfer in the world. She turned professional late the same year. She won the Kingsmill Championship in 2015 and Lotte Championship in 2016. Minjee continues to be a force on the LPGA Tour.
Jiyai Shin-turned professional in 2005 and became number one in the 2010 season. She was the first Asian to be named the world’s number one golfer. Shin has won 11 LPGA titles
Jin Young Ko - She went professional in 2013 Ko won four Korean Tournaments and came in 2nd place at the Women’s British Open in 2015.
Hyo Joo Kim- 2015 was her rookie year and she won the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic in January. She has so many endorsement that she will never have to worry about money the rest of her career
WOMAN, SEX, AND SPORTS
The American internet news media could not resist the temptation to sexualize these great female professionals-AGAIN. Below contains the list of the 12 hottest South Korean or Korean heritage Golfers according to Total Pro Sports dot com. TSP has to define what they mean by that statement.
Do you know the following golfers? Total Pro Sports would lead you to believe that these young ladies cannot play the game; they just look beautiful on the golf course. Se Ri Pak would strongly disagree and has 21 championships to prove it.
Grace Park - Member of Seoul Sisters and the first wave of Se Ri Pak kids. Park retired in 2014. She is the grand lady of the Korea crew
Young Kim- became a professional in 1998 and won the Corning Classic in 2007
Jamin Kang- became a professional in 2002 and won the Corning classic in 2005
Meena Lee- became a professional in 2002 and has two championships, one in Canadian Women’s Open 2005 and the Field’s Open in Hawaii a year later.
Aree Song- Song is Korean-Thai and turned professional in 2003 but dropped out for medical issues. She returned in 2011 and won the Q school tournament to gain full membership.
Jin Joo Hong- became a professional in 2003 winning the Kolon-Hana Bank classic in 2006
Sun Young Yoo- became a professional in 2004 and has one two majors with the Sybase Match play in 2010 Championship and Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2012
Eun-Hee Ji-became a professional in 2004 and won the Wegman’s Classic in 2008
Shi Hyun Ahn- her famous nickname is Big Mama became professional in 2006. Ahn has won 27 titles on the Asian Tour.
In Kyung Kim- became a professional in 2006 and defeated her hero Se Ri Pak in the State Famers Classic by one stroke in 2010. She has earned three LPGA Titles
Na Oh Min-became professional in 2007 and has not won a major yet
Na Yeon Choi- became a professional in 2008. Choi won the U.S. Open in 2012
Mirim Lee- became a professional in 2009 and has won six major tournaments.
Jennifer Song- the University of Southern California student and a University of Michigan graduate turned professional in 2010. Song has won two tournaments but not a LPGA match yet.
Seo Hee-Kyung- She was Rookie of the Year in 2011 and has lost four times in extra hole playoffs. Seo has won one championship at Kia Classic in 2011. Kyung retired in 2015 after marriage and the birth of a wonderful son.
These are the facts that Total Pro Sports left out because they were only looking at their pleasant faces not their golfing skills. These writers did not do their homework because they left out many wonderful golfers like Shin Ae Ahn, Na-Neul Kim, Ai-Chen Kuo, and Amy Hung.
We at BASN would like to salute the golfing great and new Hall of Fame member Se Ri Pak for her inspiring South Korean women to participate in the sport of golf and succeeding with each passing year.
We also would like the Total Pro Sports web site to be mature just as the Rant Sports website three years ago. Rant Sports pulled the article after BASN called them out.. We are now calling out Total Pro Sports dot com
Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove, Soul Tree Radio In The Raw, and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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