WILLIAMSBURG, Va. â€“ There may be no one currently playing the LPGA Tour who gets as much out of their ability as Mi Hyun Kim. She says she is 5-foot-1, and when you look down at her smiling beneath those pigtails that measurement seems like a stretch. If she tops the scale at more than 110 pounds, it is not by much. And more that 120 players drive the ball farther than she does, meaning she often is hitting a 5-wood into a green while her playing partner is hitting a 5-iron. Still, Kim has won eight LPGA events, second among Koreans only to the 23 won by Se Ri Pak.
Clearly, Kim’s competitive heart is a lot tougher than her disarming smile would ever lead one to believe, as demonstrated last week when she won the SemGroup Championship in storm-battered Oklahoma on the first hole of a playoff against the prototype of the ultimate grinder, Hall of Famer Juli Inkster. But the shy Kim, who often tees up her answer to a reporter’s question with a giggle, also has a heart that appreciates the world around her. That’s why after she saw the disaster ravaged on Greensburg, Kan., by a tornado last Friday that killed 10 and demolished 95 percent of the town she decided to donate $100,000 to people she had never met living in a state she had never visited.
“Honestly, I make a lot of money in the U.S.A,” Kim said Tuesday at the Michelob Ultra Open at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa. “Mostly, I have made donations in Korea. But I wanted help here, too.” How often are those words spoken by a professional athlete? Not often enough, is the simple answer. And how often is a sentiment like that expressed by someone who was born and raised half a world away? Maybe that explains why Kim sometimes seems to do only one thing right on the golf course â€“ get the ball in the hole. She is all heart.
Amen to that Ron. Kimmie shows she has a big a heart as her John Dalyesqe golf swing. $100,000 is a good chunk of change for an LPGA player. Women golfers play for one fifth the purses the men play for, nor do they get the lucrative endorsement deals seen on the PGA Tour.
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