Hyo Joo Kim
Born: July 14, 1955
Height: 5 ft, 5 in
Birthplace: South Korea
College: Korea University
Turned Pro: 2012
Sponsors: Lotte Mart
Kim Hyo-joo is a South Korean who is quickly rising in the ranks of women’s professional golf. Kim started her professional career on the LPGA of Korea Tour. South Korea has become a hotbed of women’s golf in the past two decades and it provides a challenging first stop for young women looking to join the LPGA or Ladies European tours.
Kim actually won her first professional tournament while competing as an amateur. She won the 2012 Lotte Mart Women’s Open in 2012 by an astonishing 12 strokes. She turned professional after that and won her second LPGA of Korea Tour event in December of 2012 at the Hyundai China Ladies Open, it was her first win as a professional.
Kim hit a bump in the road in 2013 and failed to find the winner’s circle on any tour.
She bounced back in 2014 with a vengeance, winning five times in Korea. She also qualified and won her first career Major, the Evian Championship in September. Kim opened the tournament with a course record 61. She ended up defeating multiple Major Champion Karie Webb by a single stroke and earned $487,500 and full-time exempt status on the LPGA Tour for her efforts. At just 19 years and 2 months, Kim became the third youngest woman to win a professional Major.
Her hot play continued in 2015. She defeated American Stacy Lewis by three shots to capture the 2015 JTBC Founders Cup in March. She tie for 11th at the ANA Inspiration in early 2015, only her second Major championship as a professional golfer.
Away from the golf course, Kim is earning a degree in physical education in Seoul.