Jiyai Shin accepted the 2009 Player of the Year Award by the Golf Writers Association of America this week along with Tiger Woods and Loren Roberts. Shin received her award during a banquet at The Masters on Wednesday, April 7th. She was presented the award by GWAA member Ron Sirak, who wrote this on twitter, “Jiyai Shin just rocked the house with her acceptance speech as Golf Writers female player of the year.”
Shin won three times in 2009 and was the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year. She lost the Rolex Player of the Year award to Ochoa by just one point in a race that went down to the final round of the LPGA Tour Championship. Shin led the money list and was second in scoring average. This may be the first public photo of Tiger next to a woman other than his wife since the scandal broke out. Watch out Jiyai!
Y.E. Yang made a big splash this year by doing the impossible and that was take down Tiger Woods (when Tiger wasn’t with a lady of the night). When we mean the impossible, we’re referring to his unbelievable defeat of Tiger Woods at a major golf championship: The PGA Championship at Hazeltine. To put this into perspective, Tiger Woods had never lost a major championship when leading in the final round of a major golf tournament. However, it was Y.E. Yang of all Korean golfers (Anthony Kim, K.J. Choi) that stared down the greatest golfer of our generation and maybe of all time, and executed one of the greatest shots on the final hole (72nd) of a major golf championship. He perfectly landed a hybrid shot that set up the birdie to bring down the hammer on Tiger Woods on the 18th hole. No one east of Hawai’i would have predicted that Y.E. Yang would be the first Korean golfer to win a major golf tournament and no one in their right mind would have bet on Y.E. Yang beating Tiger head to head in the final group of a golf major. Y.E. Yang is #7 on our top ten list of most influential Korean-Americans because he not only broke through to victory on one of golf’s biggest stage, but he showed the whole world that Tiger was beatable and that you could go toe to toe with the greatest golfer in the world. And now the rest of the golf world knows that you can beat Tiger (on the golf course ;). He made believers out of everyone!
The big news of the week is Tiger Wood’s supposed infidelity and it makes you wonder about our own fidelity. Do Koreans or Korean-Americans fall within the statistical norm of infidelity or is our demographic an anomaly in any way? When we hear disappointing news of people we may esteem and witness their fall from grace, we usually react with simple shock. “How could that be? They’re so famous or smart?” Not that fame and being smart go hand in hand. You would think that someone who is famous would have the intelligence to know that they have to be extra cautious because they’re under such scrutiny. Like don’t leave a voicemail on your mistresses’ cell phone. Doh! However, are we any different?
I recently visited Korea for the first time in nearly two decades and what I discovered was a different world from my American life. I’ll attribute my experience to the people I surrounded myself with and they were men (single and married) who slept little and were fueled by alcohol. South Korea is still a male dominated society and there are many social and drinking demands within their working culture. We’re not talking about going to the corner bar but drinking until your liver screams help while hanging out at the hostesses lounges. Of course I’m talking about the famous Room Salons of South Korea. When I explain to my friends back in the States what it’s all about, they don’t really get it. “So you’re saying that these pretty young ladies just sit there like Geisha girls and keep serving you drinks. There’s no funny business or back room stuff? No happy endings?” From my abbreviated experience, I can tell you that it was a lot of diluted whiskey that kept being poured into my glass by a pretty young girl who kept calling me “oppa” (brother in Korean) and even though it was diluted, it gave me a nasty headache the next day, requiring extra doses of Advil to keep me functioning. And yes, there was no funny business though I know many of you out there are pretty incredulous. So what’s the point of this tale? Well, half the gents in the party were married and it made me wonder how many of these guys have crossed the line? For some of you out there, just entering such a venue is crossing the line. So for our intent and purpose, let’s define crossing the line with physical interaction since men are known to cheat physically.
So I tried out this thing called the Internet and found a few interesting things about the fidelity of Koreans. The articles that kept surfacing in my search were about the infidelity of women which made me scratch my head because I came into my research based on assumptions that were derived from the male dominated culture of South Korea. For example, in a poll of 1,000 women in South Korea (back in 2005) by the Chosun Ilbo, nearly 2/3 of the respondents said they could imagine having sex with a man other than their husband. Back in 2008, approximately 40% of divorces were the result of infidelity. More interestingly was the fact that infidelity by the wife was on the rise.
According to the Seoul Family Court, more than 22,800 divorce suits were filed in 2006 alone and almost half of them (11,244 cases) were caused by spouse’s infidelity. Surprisingly, the number of divorce suits caused by wife’s sexual relations is on the increase.
So what are we to think? That women shouldn’t get jobs because there’s a possible correlation to female infidelity and their occupational rise? Stupid. If you read the numbers right, the men hold the majority share of cheating and as far as I know, there is no Room Salon for ladies to be served drinks by men. My point is that the men in South Korea probably have it much easier to cross the line. So getting back to my original question: are we any different from the celebrities we see screwing up? There are no stats out there that capture the infidelity rates of supposed famous people so we can’t really compare demographics to that bogey. However, what we can conclude is that whether you’re Korean, American, Blue or Green, we’re all wired the same way and therefore fallible. So thank you for listening to my meandering thoughts which could have been said in a couple sentences and that is Tiger was simply stupid not because he got caught but because he cheated on his wife. Idiot!
The President’s Cup starts today in San Francisco as all eyes in the golf world converge on this bi-annual team golf event. It’s a team of American golfers against foreign golfers who are not citizens of Europe. The Euros have their Ryder Cup which happens during the off years. The President’s Cup will feature two Koreans: Anthony Kim on the U.S. team and Y.E. Yang on the Internationals. It’s pretty cool that we there’s someone of Korean descent on both sides competing and representing.
Anthony Kim made a big statement last year at the Ryder Cup when he stared down everyone he went up against and took them down like a Tiger hunting for food in the wilderness. It stamped off a remarkable year when he won two PGA tournaments during 2008.
Y.E. Yang is making his first appearance on the International team. Usually the Korean that represented on the International team was K.J. Choi, but the most successful Korean golfer this year was Y.E. Yang. He stared down Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship and beat him on an extraordinary hybrid shot on the 18th hole that would give him the Wanamaker trophy.
It could get interesting if Y.E. Yang is matched up against A.K. That would be a cool dual between the Korean and the Korean-American. However, what people want is a rematch of the PGA Championship between Tiger Woods and Y.E. Yang and you know everyone wants to see that!
Great to see the success of Korean golfers on the PGA Tour.
When you think of Brazilians, you think of soccer. When you think of Koreans, you think of golf. Once again, for the second year in a row, a Korean has won one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the United States. Byeong-Hun An dismantled Ben Martin in the finals of the U.S. Amateur on Sunday to become the youngest winner of this tournament, taking home the Havemeyer Trophy. How prestigious is the U.S. Amateur? Tiger Woods is a three time winner. Jack Nicklause, Arnold Palmer and Phil Mickelson are previous winners of this tournament. Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer of all time considers the U.S. Amateur as a major championship. Last year Danny Lee, another Korean, became the youngest winner of the tournament; Tiger Woods was the previous youngest winner. Now for the second time in two years, Byeong-Hun An officially becomes the youngest (17 years old) winner of the U.S. Amateur and this win punches his ticket to next year’s Master’s tournament, the U.S. Open, and the British Open; three of the four golf major championships.
An is the son of two Olympians. Both parents won medals in table tennis at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, so he’s got championship DNA in him. An moved to the U.S. 3 1/2 years ago and his biggest struggle wasn’t his golf game, but English. He now trains down in Florida at the IMG Academy. When asked in the post-tournament interview if Y.E. Yang’s win over Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship was any motivation, An said “After he won the PGA Championship…. for all of us Koreans and Asians, it made it possible for us to win.”
An’s win made it the 12th Korean to win a U.S.G.A championship. Coincidentally, M.J. Hur, a Korean LPGA golfer, won the Safeway Classic golf tournament today at Pumpkin Ridge. When you think golf, you there are two things you should think of… Tiger Woods and Koreans! Fighting!
According to ESPN.COM this week, PGA Champion Y.E. Yang and Tiger Woods could face each other again at the HSBC Champions Tournament taking place in Shanghai this November. The question is whether Tiger is going to be look forward to a rematch or if “home court” advantage could mean that Y.E. Yang beats Tiger for the 3rd time! What do you all think?
How big was Y.E. Yang’s triumph over Tiger Woods yesterday? According to CNN/SI (Sports Illustrated), it may be the biggest golf upset of all time because Y.E. Yang came from 2 strokes behind in a major against a man who was already being crowned his 15th major championship on Saturday evening by the press because he never ever loses when entering the final day with a lead. Not only did he go toe to toe with Tiger, he did with shots that usually come from Tiger Woods, and Y.E. Yang’s 3-hybrid shot to the final hole was the biggest exclamation point. It also was big because the PGA Tour submitted their application for golf to be considered for the 2016 Summer Olympics, and Y.E. Yang’s win couldn’t have come at a better time because he became the first Asian-born player to win a major championship, further demonstrating the globalization of golf. Golf was big in Japan and Korea, and we know of the dominance of Korean women on the LPGA Tour. Well this win by Y.E. Yang will only bring more Asian’s into the fold. It was a big win, much bigger than we think. Congrats Y.E. Yang!
From Ty Vatow, PGA Tour Executive: If what you mean is that there won’t be 46 South Koreans playing on the PGA Tour in 11 years time, you may be right, but Yang’s win (along with the potential Olympic spot in 2016) could have a significant impact in other ways — investment in the development of the game, junior golf and overall interest in golf. No one sitting here tonight can predict exactly what that impact will be, but as my father used to say, “It is better than a sharp stick in the eye.”
Hard to believe but the impossible just happened with Y.E. Yang taming the Tiger. Tiger Woods is the most dominant golfer and athlete in the world. When Tiger enters the final round of a major golf tournament with a lead, he is 14 of 14. It’s what they call “automatic” in the sports world. Tiger had a 2 shot lead over Padraig Harrington and South Korean Y.E. Yang entering Sunday, but over the difficult windy conditions at Hazeltine on Sunday, Tiger just couldn’t get the putter to get the ball in the hole when he needed it. He said he hit the ball beautifully all day; the flat stick just wouldn”t cooperate with a few misread putts. If you’ve followed Tiger Woods’ career, it’s been clutch putt after clutch putt that one remembers about Tiger when he wins major golf tournaments. Today he was denied for the first time in his glorious career, and he was stopped cold by Y.E. Yang who beat Tiger by 3 strokes after the scorecards were signed. So how big or hard was this accomplishment?
Tiger Woods is 14 of 14 when leading the tournament going into the final day.
Tiger Woods has 70 tour victories. Y.E. Yang has 1 tour victory.
Y.E. Yang has never been in the final group with Tiger where everyone crumbles under the pressure and the massive crowds that surround them.
Y.E. Yang is ranked #110 in the world. Tiger Woods is ranked #1 for the longest time.
Tiger Woods has won 14 major championships. Y.E. Yang has only played in 5 major tournaments.
No Asian born player has won a major golf tournament.
On the final hole, the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship, Y.E. Yang hit the greatest 3 hybrid of his life with the ball landing about 10 feet from the hole. Tiger had to be aggressive because he was trailing by one shot, but his aggressiveness landed him in the rough and he ended up bogeying the hole, while Y.E. Yang slammed the door with a birdie. Tiger Woods didn’t lose this tournament – Y.E. Yang won it. The staff here are big Tiger Woods’ fans, but we’re very happy that South Korean Y.E. Yang played David and slayed Goliath. This only gives hope to the rest of the PGA tour that other players can face the barrel of the cannon known as Tiger Woods and win. Congratulations to Y.E. Yang. The Korean women have been dominant on the LPGA Women’s Tour, now Y.E. Yang is showing that the Korean men are here to stay. Don’t forget about K.J. Choi, Anthony Kim, Kevin Na, and other players of Korean descent who are on tour. It’s the Korean wave!
Entering today’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine in Minnesota, Tiger Woods leads the field by two strokes over South Korean Y.E. Yang and Padraig Harrington. It’s the final round and when Tiger Woods is leading a major tournament going into the final round, it’s like Mariano Rivera closing out a Yankee’s game: thank you for coming, good night and have a nice drive home. Well, what you may not know about Y.E. Yang is that the last time Tiger and Y.E. were going head to head, Mr. Yang beat Tiger Woods at the HSBC Champions Tournament in 2007 in Shanghai. However, he did it without having to be in the same group and dealing with the massive crowds that follow Tiger Woods, which always gives Tiger a big psychological advantage because he’s used to the followings while his fellow competitors are overwhelmed by so many eyes on them. How does Y.E. Yang feel about his odds of beating Tiger Woods?
“With Woods, he’s won 70 times now, and I’ve won only won once,” Yang said through an interpreter. “So it’s sort of 70-to-1 odds. So I might as well go for broke as well.”