Golfer Ahn Shi-hyun Claims 1st Title in 12 Years

      June 20, 2016 11:14

      Ahn Shi-hyun won the Korea Women's Open on the LPGA of Korea Tour in Incheon on Sunday.

      Carding an even par 288 to beat defending champion Park Sung-hyun by a single stroke, Ahn bagged prize money of W250 million and a Kia Carnival limousine (US$1=W1,174). The win also secured her a berth at the Kia Classic on the LPGA Tour next year.

      Before competing in any event, Ahn first gets permission from her 5-year-old daughter Grace. A single mother, Ahn is known to dote on her daughter.

      Ahn Shi-hyun smiles at her daughter after winning the Korea Women’s Open in Incheon on Sunday. /Courtesy of the LPGA of Korea

      Ahn's future looked very bright when, aged just 19, she won the CJ Nine Bridge Classic on the LPGA Tour in 2003 and was named the Tour's Rookie of the Year the following year. She continued to play on the tour until 2011, when she took a temporary leave to get married to TV celebrity Marco.

      She gave birth to Grace in 2012 but divorced the following year. Despite personal problems that kept her away from golf, she announced in January 2014 that she would return to the sport, saying she wanted to be a mother her daughter could be proud of.

      But she often missed the cut, failing to make the top 10 at any of the previous nine events on the KLPGA Tour so far this year.

      Ahn finally turned things around at the Korea Women’s Open, scoring her second career win and her first in 12 years. After winning the title, it was her daughter, rather than the trophy, that she first held aloft. In a trembling voice, she said, "I want to tell [my juniors]: Never give up -- there is always light at the end of the tunnel."

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