Family Ties

By Randall MellJuly 7, 2009, 4:00 pm
2099 U.S. WomenBETHLEHEM, Pa. ' Jiyai Shins week is a miracle in the making.
 
No matter how the U.S. Womens Open ends, the South Korean rookie is preparing to wrap her arms around a trophy as big as a dream.
 
Shin is scheduled to close on the purchase of her first home in Duluth, Ga., upon her return there after the championship.
 
The five-bedroom house is going to be more than her home alone. Its going to allow her to bring her family together in the United States , a dream shes had since she won her LPGA playing privileges late last year.
 
Its a desire Shin believes is heavenly inspired.
 
Almost seven years ago, Shins mother, Song Suk Na, was killed when a garbage truck broadsided the car she was driving as she headed to a birthday party. Shins brother, Ji Hoon, 7 at the time, fractured his neck in the crash. Shins sister, Ji Won, 13 then, suffered fractures of her left shoulder and right leg.
 
Jiyai wasnt in the car. She got the bad news while working on her game on a driving range with her father, Jae Suhp.
 
Shins brother and sister were so seriously injured, they spent nearly a year in a hospital recuperating. Shin spent the year with them, sleeping in the hospital on a cot, leaving for school and to practice her golf but always returning.
 
My brother and sister were hurt badly, but losing our mother hurt even more, Shin said.
 
Shin believes the way her career has flourished and allowed her to buy her American home is orchestrated by her mother.
 
I think all the time she care for me upstairs, from upstairs all the time, Shin said. I fight for my mom, too.
 
The competitive fight is impressive with Shin, at 21, already having claimed 28 victories around the world, five of them LPGA events, including last years Ricoh Womens British Open. With her second LPGA title this season, the Wegmans LPGA two weeks ago, Shin overtook Lorena Ochoa in first place in the Rolex Player of the Year standings. She has a chance to join Nancy Lopez (1978) as the only players to be Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year in the same season.
 
Shins last title also moved her to No. 1 on the money list and No. 3 in the Rolex Womens World Golf Rankings. Shes considered a rookie with her three LPGA titles last year coming as a non-member.
 
At 5-feet-1, with a compact build and swing, Shin has medium-range power but is noted for her remarkable accuracy.
 
Shins fairways-and-greens game suits a U.S. Womens Open test, even though Saucon Valley Country Club is playing long at 6,740 yards. She and Ochoa are among the favorites this week.
 
Jiyais always on the short grass, said Dean Herden, Shins caddie.
 
Shin keeps a photo of her mother in her yardage book. Her brother and sister recovered from their injuries and are thriving in school in South Korea , where her father and his new wife take care of them. Her brother and sister flew to the SBS Open at Turtle Bay to watch Shin make her debut as an LPGA rookie.
 
Jiyai speaks to them both almost every day, Herden said. They are very close.
 
In Hawaii , Shin shared her dream of buying an American home, a place they could all be together when shes playing in the United States .
 
My brother was very excited, Shin said. He said he was going to learn English to be ready.
 
Shin hopes to bring her brother over in November. Her sister may stay in South Korea to attend college.
 
Herden sees how the death of Shins mother affects the way Shin lives her life.
 
Im sure she hit rock bottom when all that happened, Herden said. Today, shes so grateful for everything life brings her. I think its because of that experience. Even on the golf course, she never gets flustered.
 
The U.S. Womens Open promises to test that, but the outcome wont affect the trophy shes poised to claim, the home that will bring her family together.
 
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  • Lexi 'applaud's USGA, R&A for rules change

    By Randall MellDecember 11, 2017, 5:15 pm

    Lexi Thompson’s pain may prove to be the rest of golf’s gain.

    David Rickman, the R&A’s executive director of governance, acknowledged on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday that the new protocols that will eliminate the use of TV viewer call-ins and emails to apply penalties was hastened by the controversy following Thompson’s four-shot penalty at the ANA Inspiration in early April. The new protocols also set up rules officials to monitor TV broadcasts beginning next year.

    “Clearly, that case has been something of a focus point for us,” Rickman said.

    Thompson reacted to the new protocols in an Instagram post.

    “I applaud the USGA and the R&A for their willingness to revise the Rules of Golf to address certain unfortunate situations that have arisen several times in the game of golf,” Thompson wrote. “In my case, I am thankful no one else will have to deal with an outcome such as mine in the future.”

    Thompson was penalized two shots for improperly returning her ball to its mark on a green during Saturday’s round after a viewer emailed LPGA officials during Sunday’s broadcast. She was penalized two more shots for signing an incorrect scorecard for her Saturday round. Thompson ultimately lost in a playoff to So Yeon Ryu.

    The new protocols will also eliminate the additional two-shot penalty a player receives for failing to include a penalty when a player was unaware of the penalty.

    Shortly after the ANA Inspiration, the USGA and R&A led the formation of a video review working group, which included the PGA Tour, LPGA, European Tour, Ladies European Tour and PGA of America.

    Also, just three weeks after Thompson was hit with the four-shot penalty, the USGA and R&A released a new Rules of Golf decision decision (34-3/10) limiting video evidence in two ways:

    1. If an infraction can’t be seen with the naked eye, there’s no penalty, even if video shows otherwise.

    2. If a tournament committee determines that a player does “all that can be reasonably expected to make an accurate estimation or measurement” in determining a line or position to play from or to spot a ball, then there will be no penalty even if video replay later shows that to be wrong.

    While the USGA and R&A said the new decision wasn’t based on Thompson’s ANA incident, LPGA players immediately began calling it the “Lexi Rule.”

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    PGA Tour, LPGA react to video review rules changes

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 11, 2017, 1:32 pm

    The USGA and R&A announced on Monday updates to the Rules of Golf, including no longer accepting call-ins relating to violations. The PGA Tour and LPGA, which were both part of a working group of entities who voted on the changes, issued the following statements:

    PGA Tour:

    The PGA Tour has worked closely with the USGA and R&A on this issue in recent years, and today's announcement is another positive step to ensure the Rules of Golf align with how the game is presented and viewed globally. The PGA Tour will adopt the new Local Rule beginning January 1, 2018 and evolve our protocols for reviewing video evidence as outlined.

    LPGA:

    We are encouraged by the willingness of the governing bodies to fully vet the issues and implement real change at a pace much quicker than the sport has seen previously. These new adaptations, coupled with changes announced earlier this year, are true and meaningful advances for the game. The LPGA plans to adopt fully the protocols and new Local Rule as outlined.

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    Sharma closes on Monday, wins Joburg Open

    By Associated PressDecember 11, 2017, 12:43 pm

    JOHANNESBURG – Shubhankar Sharma won his first European Tour title by a shooting 3-under 69 Monday in the final round of the weather-delayed Joburg Open.

    The 21-year-old Indian resumed his round on the eighth green after play was halted early Sunday afternoon because of storms. He parred that hole, birdied No. 9 and made par on every hole on the back nine.


    Full-field scores from the Joburg Open


    Sharma finished at 23-under 264, three strokes ahead of the pack, and qualified for next year's British Open, too.

    ''I actually wasn't going to come here about a week ago ... so I'm really happy that I came,'' said Sharma, who shot 61 in the second round. ''I don't think I'm ever going forget my first time in South Africa.''

    Erik van Rooyen (66) was second, three strokes ahead of Shaun Norris (65) and Tapio Pulkkanen (68).

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