Na-Yeon Choi Captures Third LPGA Title

Evidently, KoreAm is a bit of a good luck charm.

Last year, four players won for the first time on the LPGA Tour within months of teeing-off at the 2009 KoreAm Pro-Am.  This year, Se Ri Pak won the Bell Micro LPGA Classic in May, just one month after playing in the 2010 Pro-Am.  And on Sunday, Na-Yeon Choi extended the streak of good fortune with a win at the 2010 Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic for her third career LPGA title.

Maybe it’s something in the water.

Choi, who also won twice last year after playing the Pro-Am, had to work overtime, as she edged out a trio of Kims—fellow Koreans Song-Hee Kim and In-Kyung Kim along with resurgent Korean-American Cristina Kim—over two playoff holes for the win.  The extra holes were required when the four ladies finished the regulation 72 holes tied for the lead at 14-under-par.  Just missing the playoff by one stroke was Korea’s Ji-yai Shin, who settled for fifth place.

Pro-Am participant Song-Hee Kim has now had consecutive second-place finishes, following her runner-up finish at last month’s LPGA Championship.  And just a week before the year’s second major, KoreAm Pro-Am stalwart M.J. Hur finished second at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in mid-June.

Shin, a recent World Number 1, told the Associated Press that the Korean players feed off of each other’s success.  “It’s a really good thing, because when other players play well, I’m thinking, ‘Oh, I hope I do more.’  It pushes me to do more.”

Perhaps Shin should just use a certain good luck charm.  From the way it looks, the sign-up sheets for the 2011 KoreAm Pro-Am could be filling up very quickly.


Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images