A South Korean triumph that translates well

By Randall MellJuly 11, 2011, 9:17 pm

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu told nearly all of her story in English after winning the U.S. Women’s Open Monday at The Broadmoor.

Fellow countrywoman Hee Kyung Seo explained how she lost the playoff in fluent English.

The stellar shot making didn’t just impress Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak in the aftermath, so did the language Ryu and Seo used to tell their stories.

“That’s a huge change from six or seven years ago,” Pak said. “That’s an amazing change.”

Folks who believe South Korean dominance of the LPGA creates a disconnect with the American fan base should take a closer look at Ryu and Seo. The attractive, young duo brought a dynamic presence to the championship’s finish and storylines they were able to communicate on their own terms to American audiences.

Ryu, 21, is doing exactly what Michelle Wie’s doing in South Korea. She’s playing professionally while going to college. She won the U.S. Women’s Open amid her junior year at Yonsei University. She’s studying physical education there.

Ryu, a six-time Korean LPGA Tour winner, advanced to the U.S. Women’s Open as one of the top five money winners on KLPGA Tour, but her victory Monday gives her the option of taking up LPGA membership this year or waiting and using her exemption next year. She isn’t sure what she’ll do, given her interest in finishing school.

“I must decide,” she said.

Seo, 24, is known as “Supermodel of the Fairways” in South Korea. She’s an 11-time Korean LPGA winner who took up LPGA membership by virtue of winning the Kia Classic last year.

Seo said her mother started teaching her English when she was in the first grade. Her fluency accelerated when she spent a year in the United States when she was 10 with her aunt and uncle, who were studying at Kansas University.

Ryu has an English teacher who’s helping accelerate her understanding of the language.

Given the debacle that followed the LPGA’s proposal three years ago to compel Asians on tour to learn English, it’s a notable sidebar to this U.S. Women’s Open victory.

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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 21, 2018, 7:02 pm

Tiger Woods is looking to close his season with a win at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him this week at East Lake Golf Club.

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Tiger gets rapper Big Boi's support during opening 65

By Grill Room TeamSeptember 21, 2018, 6:00 pm

Tiger Woods fans everywhere were buzzing during his opening 65 at the Tour Championship, and that includes Atlanta hip-hop legend Big Boi, who was supporting the 14-time major champ from the East Lake gallery.

Perhaps best known as one half of the rap duo "Outkast" along with André 3000, Big Boi played the part of Woods superfan on Thursday, following Tiger around the course and posting videos on Twitter, before eventually stopping for a chat and a few pictures after the round.

Big Boi, who kicked off the Tour Championship with a performance at the event’s opening ceremonies, is hardly the first hip-hop superstar to buddy up to Woods - who could forget these incredible pictures with Snoop Dogg?

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After Web.com Tour Finals, Peterson retires ... again

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 21, 2018, 5:50 pm

OK, now it’s official: John Peterson is done with professional golf.  

With one last chance to secure his PGA Tour card for next season, Peterson missed the cut in the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship. After failing to keep conditional status on Tour – in the most excruciating of circumstances – Peterson is now out of options to play the big tour in 2019, so he’s stepping away from professional golf, at age 29.

Full-field scores from the Web.com Tour Championship

It’s been one of the most unusual storylines of the year. The former NCAA individual champion from LSU announced at the beginning of the year that he was done if he didn’t keep his card on his major medical extension. He’d grown tired of the nomadic existence on Tour, and as a new father and husband, he’d already lined up his next career, in real estate and business development in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas.

In July, Peterson said that the Web.com Tour Finals would be his final opportunity. If he earned a full PGA Tour card through the four-event series, then he’d continue to play in 2018-19 because he’d be able to pick and choose his schedule. But he never threatened full status, missing three cuts and tying for 56th in the other start.

And so on Friday afternoon, Peterson tapped out this tweet, saying goodbye to the Tour:

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Army vets get sneak peek at Callaway's new wedges

By Rex HoggardSeptember 21, 2018, 5:23 pm

ATLANTA – Callaway Golf unveiled a new set of wedges to consumers on Friday, but U.S. Army veterans Kyle Butcher and Billy Paul were treated to an early peak on Wednesday at the Tour Championship.

Butcher and Paul were chosen to participate in a club fitting at East Lake that included three of Callaway’s new Mack Daddy 4 Tactical Wedges. The new wedges feature the company’s tactical package with a PVD finish, tour issued shafts and Groove-in-Groove technology. It was the company’s 13th “warrior fitting” this year.

Billy Paul (L) and Kyle Butcher checking out Callaway’s new Mack Daddy 4 Tactical Wedges.

Billy Paul (L) and Kyle Butcher (M) checking out Callaway's new Mack Daddy 4 wedges

The limited edition wedges became available at retail on Friday ($179.99) and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Birdies for the Brave. The company also made a $50,000 donation to Birdies for the Brave’s Special Operations Warriors Foundation.

Part of the company’s push to honor American military members also includes 15 percent discounts on purchases by all veterans.