Back 9: Eunjung Yi will defend at 2010 Jamie FarrWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Eujung Yi will be the defending champion at the 2010 Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic presented by Kroger held at Highland Meadows Country Club, June 28- July 4. On Saturday’s third round in last year’s tournament, she posted a sizzling 61 to get herself into contention and then made a birdie on the first playoff hole to defeat Morgan Pressel and earn her first LPGA win.
Yi didn’t begin playing golf until the age of 13 when her father took her to the course with him. She was hooked. Every afternoon after school she would go to the golf course and practice until dark. The hard work paid off, she became more proficient and started playing in junior tournaments. A scant 4 years later at the age of 17 she won the 2005 U. S. Amateur Public Links Championship and competed in the U. S. Girls’ Junior and the U. S. Women’s Amateur Championship.
Yi took time to attend Dea Lim University and joined the LPGA Tour in 2008. The 2009 Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic was her first top ten finish, as well as, her first win. She finished last year ranked 43rd on the LPGA money list with $314,600.00. Thus far in 2010, she has made 5 cuts in the 6 events and ranks 47th on the money list.
Yi gives much of the credit for her success at such a young age to her parents. They provided the opportunity for her to be able to practice year round. Her family is in the restaurant business in Southern California and has residences in both South Korea and the U. S. This allowed Yi to spend the winter months in the California sunshine and continue her strict practice schedule. She feels that the dedication to practice and continual improvement along with her parent’s support are the key factors in not only her success but also the success of all of the Asian players that are currently dominating the LPGA Tour.
The lesson here is for all parents to set the environment for their children to succeed. Make it fun for them. We don’t “work golf” we “play golf”. The child, however, has to do the heavy lifting and enjoy putting in the countless hours of practice necessary to be successful, whether in golf or in life’s other endeavors. With all of the distractions facing children it is very satisfying to see a young person like Eunjung Yi that is respectful of her parent’s contribution to her achievement, has reaped the benefits of her own hard work and reached the highest levels of her chosen profession.