Na Yeon Choi won to give South Koreans four of the last five Opens, while Amy Yang finished second.
“Back 14 years ago, of course, nobody here from my country, which (made me) feel like really alone,” she said. “But now, I feel really good.”
Pak’s Open victory inspired a golf boom that has seen South Koreans become a dominant force on the LPGA Tour. When Pak won, her entire country watched and many young girls such as Choi began dreaming of duplicating her feat.
When Pak reached the 18th green, she was able to see Choi and Yang on the other half of the connected double-green, which also serves as the ninth green. They were the last pair and were one-two in the standings.
The sight of the two South Koreans delighted Pak, as has the success of other women golfers from her country.
“Just really exciting to watch it,” Pak said about seeing Choi and Yang.
WALKING WOUNDED: Volunteer Mitchell Krohn not only carried a standard around the long, hard-to-walk Blackwolf Run course Sunday. He also lugged the heavy cast on his right leg that protected his broken foot.
The 15-year-old from Menomonee Falls, Wis., carried the sign with scores for the twosome of Emma Talley and
Sun Young Yoo.
Despite the added weight and awkward way he had to walk, Krohn said “It really wasn’t too bad. I enjoyed it.”
The Menomonee Falls High School sophomore was one of 2,000 volunteers. There were volunteers from 42 states as well as Canada and the United Kingdom, many of them 55 and older.
Winner Na Yeon Choi went out of her way to thank fans and volunteers for coming to the course.
“I just want to say to all the volunteers and fans out there they supported me a lot, so that was helping me a lot and encouraging me,” Choi said.