Height: 5 ft 2 in
Born: April 28, 1988
Birthplace: South Korea
College: Yonsei University
Turned Pro: 2005
Sponsors: Mizuno, Three Bond, Dow
16-year old Jiyai Shin turned to her golf following the death of her mother in an automobile accident. She turned professioanl shortly after the tragedy. She began playing on the Korean LPGA and Japanese LPGA Tours. Only a decade after turning pro, Shin owns nearly every record on the Korean LPGA Tour.
In 2006, she finished in third place in her first two starts and won three tournaments over the course of the year.
The next year, Shin turned in one of the most dominating performances in golf history. She won 10 times in just 19 starts. She played in her first two Major tournaments finishing 6th in the U.S. Women’s Open and 3rd in the Evian Masters. She finished the year as the 8th ranked player in the world, the only non-LPGA player in the top ten.
Shin took the opportunity to play a limited schedule in America on the LPGA in 2008. She maximized her time, winning three times in ten starts. She won her first Major, the 2008 Women’s Open Championship, becoming the first non-LPGA member to win a Major since Laura Davies in 1987. She capped her year by winning the the LPGA’s season ending ADT Championship.
The next year Shin played on the LPGA on a regular basis. She won the HSBC Championship in her third start. Shin won two more times in 2009 and was named LPGA Rookie of the Year.
Shin continued to build on her momentum in 2010. She supplanted Lorena Ochoa and became the top ranked golfer in the Women’s World Golf Rankings.
After five successful years, Shin quit the LPGA Tour in 2014 to be closer to family. She is currently splitting time between the Korean and Japanese tours.