Posted: July 4, 2015 11:37 pm
Every golfer in the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open field has a back story that led them to Lancaster Country Club, and some of those stories are more interesting — and unusual — than others.
With that in mind, here are some things fans might not know about 30 of the golfers set to compete this week for the USGA’s national championship of women’s golf.
1. To commemorate her first professional victory at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic last season near San Francisco, 17-year-old Lydia Ko had the date — April 27, 2014 —tattooed in Roman numerals on her right wrist. She asked her parents for permission, which they granted.
2. Brittany Lang’s husband, Kevin Spann, proposed to his bride-to-be on the ninth green at the 2013 North Texas Shootout. After the third round — and with the Golf Channel’s cameras rolling — Spann took a knee and asked Lang if he could watch her play golf the rest of their lives.
3. Starting at age 11, Stacy Lewis wore a back brace for 18 hours each day for 7-1/2 years to correct curvature in her spine from scoliosis. Lewis removed it only to play golf. She had back surgery during her senior year of high school, and her website’s URL, www.stacysback.com, serves as a reminder of what she’s overcome physically.
4. Amy Yang comes from a family of athletes. Her father Joon Mo (James) Yang was part of the Korean national canoe team. Her mother Sun Hee (Sunny) competed as a track and field athlete, specializing in the javelin.
5. A self-professed fan of all sports, Angela Stanford‘s biggest rooting interest lies with baseball’s Texas Rangers.
6. Azahara Munoz told LPGA.com that if she could learn to do something new with her life, she’d choose to become a good singer and dancer.
7. Birdie Kim suffered significant facial, neck and shoulder injuries in an August 2009 car crash in South Korea, shelving her for most of 2010 and part of the 2011 season. She has been playing mostly on the Symetra Tour this year.
8. According to her website, brittany1golf.com, Brittany Lincicome loves playing cards, especially Texas Hold’em.
9. While attending Arizona State University, Carlota Ciganda became the first women’s golfer to win back-to-back Pac-10 championships, in 2009 and 2010.
10. Extremely popular with her peers, Chella Choi won the 2014 William and Mousie Powell Award, given to the LPGA Tour player “whose behavior and deeds best exemplifies the spirit, ideals and values of the LPGA.” The recipient is selected annually by a vote of LPGA Tour members.
11. Genetics just might have something to do with Jessica Korda’s athletic ability. Her Czech-born parents, Petr Korda and Regina Rajchrtova, were both professional tennis players.
12. Cristie Kerr is active in the fight against breast cancer in honor of her mother, Linda, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2003. That year, Kerr formed Birdies For Breast Cancer, and donates $50 for every birdie she makes on tour. Since its inception, the non-profit organization has raised more than $3 million.
13. Mo Martin told LPGA.com that if she could be on any TV show, it would be “The Amazing Race” with her best friend Gina, because they both already have so much experience traveling around the world.
14. During the first round of the HSBC Women’s Open in Singapore on March 5, Mirim Lee and spectators were entertained by a sea otter, who walked across the green in front of her at Sentosa Golf Club.
15. Sandra Gal told LPGA.com the place she was most likely to max out her credit card was any Whole Foods Market location.
16. Lexi Thompson has two older brothers who also play golf. Nicholas Thompson, 32, is a member of the PGA Tour and Curtis Thompson, 22, plays collegiately at Louisiana State University.
17. Paula Creamer represented the United States in the 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 Solheim Cup competitions. In 2005, she became the first LPGA rookie and youngest to earn such status, and went 3-1-1 for the victorious Americans.
18. Michelle Wie became the youngest player to qualify for the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship as a 10-year-old in 2000.
19. Christina Kim told LPGA.com that if she has an extra 30 minutes of free time, she’d like to spend it either tweeting or soaking in a bathtub.
20. When her travel schedule allows, Lizette Salas hosts golf clinics on Tuesday nights in her hometown of Azusa, Calif., for lower- to middle-class children age 8 to 18 from nearby Covina, Irwindale, West Covina and East Los Angeles.
21. If golf had the equivalent of baseball’s walk-up songs, Suzann Pettersen told LPGA.com she would use Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.”
22. According to LPGA.com, if Julieta Granada could just drop everything and go anywhere for a day, she’d be on her way to New York City.
23. Karrie Webb was chosen as one of the torch bearers during the relay for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
24. According to her Twitter timeline, Eun-Hee Ji attended a Boston Red Sox game in May and was thrilled to see her name in lights on a Fenway Park message board.
25. After collecting a $220,000 first-place check for winning the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational, In-Kyung Kim vowed to donate the whole amount to charity. True to her word, she gave half to the Lorena Ochoa Foundation and half to Special Olympics.
26. Morgan Pressel became the youngest major champion in LPGA Tour history when she won the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship at 18 years, 10 months and 9 days.
27. Kristen Gillman won the 2014 Junior PGA Championship by a whopping 11 strokes, the largest margin of victory since 1977. She finished the tournament at 16 under par, which broke a 15-year-old record.
28. Na Yeon Choi won the 2015 LPGA season-opening tournament in Ocala, Florida, capturing the Coates Golf Championship on Jan. 31. She edged out Lydia Ko, Jang Ha Na and Jessica Korda by one stroke.
29. Shanshan Feng told LPGA.com that her dream foursome for a round of golf would include former NBA star Yao Ming, singer Taylor Swift and South Korean-born singer, actor and model Kim Soo-Hyun.
30. Last October, So Yeon Ryu served as a bridesmaid in the wedding of close friend and fellow South Korean golfer Inbee Park.