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The last amateur to win on the LPGA Tour is Lydia Ko in 2013. Before that, you’d have to go back to 1969. Why is that relevant at the moment? Because Eun Jeong Seong is T-2 at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout with Cristie Kerr and Inbee Park behind Haru Nomura. She tees off in the final group in about an hour (12:40pm CT).
She may only be a 17-year-old amateur player, but she’s become well known over the past couple of years. In 2015, she won the U.S. Girl’s Junior Am, then defended her title in 2016. Weeks later, she won the 2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur – the first to win both titles in the same year. Oh, and she became the youngest ever to win 3 USGA Championships – at the age of 16.
So, what has she done for us lately? At the ANA earlier this year (the tournament known for the Lexi rules fiasco), Seong captured our attention with the first ace in 5 years at the tournament. That helped her to a first round 68. She ended up missing the cut with a 79 on Friday, but showed her game transcends the amateur level.
We’ve been spoiled with Lydia Ko who has broken LPGA records as a teenager over the last few years. By Seong’s age of 17, Ko had won 5 LPGA tournaments including the Tour Championship. Insane. You can’t come close. But, Seong is for sure a young phenom with great potential. To be in the final group on the world’s stage as an amateur is a big accomplishment. At the end of the day, we will know how quickly she has matured over her young career.
LPGA.com, wikipedia, USGA.com, https://www.thoughtco.com/last-amateur-to-win-on-pga-1563328, Golf Channel