|Shin Ji-yai speaks during a press conference on Thursday. (Yonhap News)|
GOYANG (Yonhap News) ― After starting her 2013 LPGA Tour season with a victory, South Korean star Shin Ji-yai said Thursday her goal this year is to become the first golfer from her country to win the season-ending Player of the Year award.
The 24-year-old claimed the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, the first tournament of 2013, in Canberra last month.
She won twice last year, including her second career major at the Women’s British Open, and is currently ranked sixth in the world.
“There are a lot of great players on the LPGA Tour,” Shin said at a press conference in Goyang, west of Seoul, after signing a club endorsement deal.
“To win the Player of the Year honors, I have to beat those great players, and it gives me an extra dose of motivation.”
On the LPGA Tour, the top player honors are awarded based on points. First place is worth 30 points, and second place is worth 12 points, and so forth.
These points are doubled for major championships and for the season-ending CME Group Titleholders in November.
Despite South Koreans’ dominance in recent seasons, no South Korean golfer has won the points race for the top individual award.