Monday, November 15, 2010

Lorena Ochoa Invitational Sunday: In-Kyung Kim's Got Heart

Soon after posting yesterday's front-9 update of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, I was at a friend's house watching the finale, blown away that Angela Stanford had posted a tournament-record 63, moved by Ai Miyazato's closing birdie barrage (5 in her last 10 holes to bounce back from going +4 in a 3-hole stretch early on the front), impressed by the tenacity and brilliance of Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr, floored by Karine Icher's walkoff spin-back side-door eagle (which capped off a bogey-free run of 48 holes and counting!), and psyched that Suzann Pettersen took such a valiant run for her 1st win of the season after doubling the par-4 4th for the 2nd time that week (she went -4 in her last 14 holes, making all 4 birdies in a 6-hole stretch in the middle of her round).

That all their heroics couldn't get them to the winner's circle is due to the absolute virtuosity of In-Kyung Kim, who made 9 birdies and would have tied Stanford's course record except for a 3-putt bogey on the par-3 17th. That her 1st win of the season isn't close to the biggest story of the week is due to Kim's heart. As The Squire mentioned and Brent Kelly and bangkokbobby contextualized, Inky pledged to donate her entire's winner check to charity.

Here's her reasoning, courtesy of

Well, I've been thinking about this for a long time, all this year if I won a tournament, I really wanted to help the people who need help. And I came to this tournament, I went to Lorena's party and I saw the kids, how she is helping kids with her foundation, and I decided that even though‑‑well, yes, if I win, I will be giving all the money to the people who need help. I had in my mind that I wanted to help American charities that I've been looking for, so I wanted to share this prize money, half to Lorena's foundation and half to an American charity that I was deciding on. So I hope‑‑I feel so grateful that even in here, playing against all of these great players, and I just wanted to share this feeling to other people and I've got a lot of help to becoming this good at golf. I'm fortunate, but people who need help, I hope this money can help a lot‑‑not a lot, but you know, it could help.

Clearly, Lorena Ochoa's influence is felt deeply all over the tour, and particularly by Kim:

I just hope, you know, Lorena has helped the kids for over the years, many years, but this is kind of a start for me. I would love to have my own foundation one day, but I just‑‑not just this week, I want to keep doing good things to the people that need help, not only kids, but also, you know, in the world there are‑‑what's going on in Haiti and all over the world. So it means a lot to me, because now, winning this tournament, I have been able to help other people. I think that's what I like about golf, and you know, it's great that what I can do to other people.

Interesting that she's looking for a U.S. charity that does something like her sponsor Hana Bank's microlending project:

It's kind of a long story, but Hana Bank, who is sponsoring me, and the CEO has Microbank (Smile Microbank Foundation), which is people that they couldn't‑‑able to get a loan from the regular bank because they don't have credit. So the Microbank helps people who are not able to‑‑can't loan them money. So the Microbank helps those people and I got into‑‑every time I made birdie or eagle, I send 90 or hundred bucks for a birdie, I donate every tournament this year, and that's how I got into like looking for charities. So it's not just about money that I have given to, but also it has a great feeling; if I play good and make a lot of birdies, then I can help more people. That's how it kind of started and in the U.S., I was looking for Microbank and maybe another like who needs help, but I haven't decided yet, so I can't really tell which charity yet I'm going to donate. But when I decide who really needs help, then I'll, you know, tell.

Sorry to quote from so much of the interview, but her answer to her closing question gives a great glimpse into Inky's history--and personality:

Q. It sounds to me like you're a person who is really into helping others. Is there any particular story in your life or why are you so interested in helping?
IN‑KYUNG KIM: I never really talked about it before. Before I came to the U.S.‑‑I wanted to come to the U.S. but I know it's tough and my parents are working really hard at the time when I was 16. And we weren't really rich, but it takes a lot of money to send me to the U.S. and go to school and all that, right. But there is one person who helped my parents kind of sending me to the U.S., and if he didn't help my parents, or, you know, if he didn't help me coming to the U.S., I wouldn't really be here, you know what I mean. I was able to educate‑‑learn English‑‑I wish I could speak a bit of Spanish, but not there yet. Maybe I should come here often. Anyways, so at the time, you know, it's like it's all about timing, and everyone needs help. I think education is really an important thing, but also, here in life, I'm sure you have met great people. I have such great people around me and I want to be the one person to gather‑‑who knows, you know, those kids can be somebody else than what they have. I think that's why I'm all about that. Gracias. Tengo hambre!

I recall vividly when Inky jokingly referred to herself as a "punk kid" after one of her previous LPGA victories. Well, now she's one 1 kid who already has become "somebody else than what they have." Well done!

[Update 1 (9:11 am): Here's Hound Dog's final-round overview.]

[Update 2 (9:17 am): Here's Stephanie Wei's take (sweet parenthetical comparison between Petterson and Westwood, Steph!).]

[Update 3 (9:44 am): Here's Inky's live announcement:

Here's Inky hanging out on youtube:

Check out derr2000's latest, too:


[Update 4 (9:54 am): All right, 1 more youtube slideshow:

Song choice is hurting my ears, though.]

[Update 5 (11/16/10, 9:05 am): Here's Hound Dog's epilogue.]

[Update 6 (11:36 am): Here's Shane Bacon's reaction to Inky's generosity.]

[Update 7 (11/19/10, 4:22): Here's Beth Ann Baldry with more details.]

1 comment:

LPGA Fan said...

Just once, I wish I could post a show that does not have a mistake. Even after I review it a couple of times, I still miss something. Oh well, I'm just an ol guy. But it's great to see the images we otherwise would miss.