Apr 30th, 2016
Saturday Siren: Shin Ae Ahn
South Korean major winning sensation!!
Words: Tim Southwell
Korean golfer Shin Ae Ahn moved to New Zealand when she was nine, and took up golf. Well, that's probably not all she did. She probably messed around with dolls and played soccer and hung out with her friends building stuff on Minecraft as well. But she started playing golf. And soon realised she was pretty good at it.
While in New Zealand, she was known as Sharon Ahn. Sharon, or Shaz as we like to call her here at GP Towers, compiled an impressive amateur record while representing New Zealand in various competitions, including the Queen Sirikit Cup. She also won the 2005 New Zealand Women's Stroke Play Championship among other events.
Shaz joined the KLPGA tour (the Korean LPGA tour) in 2009 and had a decent rookie year, making four top tens, ending up 21st on the money list, earning her the title of Rookie of the Year.
2010 was Shaz's breakout season. She won her first event on the KLPGA at the Hidden Valley Women's Open, shooting a seven under 65 in her final round to win by three shots. .
Shaz won again just a few weeks later, winning the rain shortened High One Resort SBS Charity Women's Open in a play off against Hyun Hee Moon. She recorded eight top 10s in 2010 and finished third on the KLPGA money list.
Not much happened for Shaz in 2011 but she did win the Most Fashionable Player at the season ending KLPGA Awards Show, as voted for by the fans.
When I say not much happened, Shaz did finish ninth at the Evian Masters that year after putting herself into contention to win with a blistering opening round 67. She walked off with a cool $67,000 which is a lot of doughnuts. She also made her first cut at a Major when she finished 64th at the US Women's Open.
2013 was a bit ropey on the performances front with Shaz finishing 39th on the money list. She had a couple of top fives, but otherwise struggled. But her name was still very much in the news: there was a rumor she was dating a K-Pop star (K-Pop is a musical genre originating in South Korea that is characterized by a wide variety of audiovisual elements.– thank you Wikipedia – Ed), and the paparazzi followed around like a bunch of rabid pack mules chasing down carrots (What are you on about?! – Ed).
Shaz signed for TaylorMade/Adidas this year and was soon being marketed as the KLPGA's poster girl.
Shaz finished 37th on the 2014 KLPGA money list, recording four top tens, her best finish coming at the year's final Major, the KB Star Championship where she finished fifth.
2015 was much the same with some solid but less than spectacular performances. The exception to this came in the KLPGA Championship (a KLPGA major) where Shaz recorded a trademark final day doozy, shooting 67 and forcing a play off, which she won to record her first major win.
And that, ladies and gentleman, is the story so far for Shin Ae 'Shaz' Ahn