Shin Ji-yai, former world No. 1 in women's golf hailing from South Korea, doesn't play in the United States often. The 11-time LPGA winner now plies her trade in Japan, so she can be closer to her family back home, and only occasionally plays LPGA events.
And when she took the rare trip to play the U.S. Women's Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links this time, Shin made sure she would soak up her experience.
Finishing tied for second place didn't hurt, either.
"I tried to remember everything. Even today, the weather was perfect to see the beautiful course. Even my playing, my feeling and all my fans, I will remember forever," Shin said after shooting a four-under 68 in the final round on the famed course in Pebble Beach, California, on Sunday (local time).
She finished at six-under 282, three behind the champion, Allisen Corpuz of the United States. It was Shin's first tournament in America since 2019.
"I was so excited about playing at Pebble Beach, and until the last hole, I had fans cheering me up, and I think I had a beautiful finish," Shin added. "Although I did not win the championship, I'm as happy as being a champion. I think that this experience left me an indelible impression, and I'll never forget this week."
Pebble Beach hosted the U.S. Women's Open for the first time, and Shin said it could be her last time playing the course, which will next bring the U.S. Women's Open in 2035.
"Yesterday, I was a little sad that we were playing only one more round," Shin said. "This morning, when I came to the golf course, I said, 'Okay, this is maybe my last time playing Pebble Beach, so I have to play well.' And it worked.' This is the course that I've always wanted to play, and I hope to come back here someday to play again."
She hadn't finished higher than fifth at the U.S. Women's Open. With her runner-up finish, Shin also earned a spot at next year's championship.
Now 35 and no longer the consistently dominant force that she once was, Shin said she was "very much inspired" by watching younger players at Pebble Beach.
"Since I last played in the U.S. or LPGA, there was a generation change. We have a lot of new players," she said. "I was very much inspired by watching them. I'm determined to play harder and work harder and be better."
Source: Yonhap News Agency