Stylish Seo Hee-kyung will provide a first-hand insight into the phenomenal growth of women's golf in South Korea when she makes her maiden appearance in the Omega Ladies Masters to be under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the Emirates Golf Club from December 5 to 8.
Nicknamed the ‘supermodel of the fairways’, Seo is the latest player from the LPGA Tour to confirm her participation in the season-ending Ladies European Tour event that features a bevy of stars from both sides of the Atlantic, including defending champion Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie and Laura Davies.
With 11 victories under her belt on the LPGA of Korea since turning pro in 2006, the 26-year-old Seo has already become a force to reckon with at home, but it was her victory in the 2010 Kia Classic that earned her world-wide recognition and paved the way for her membership on the 2011 LPGA season.
Named the Rookie of the Year in 2011 on the strength of three top-10 finishes including runner-up at the US Women's Open, Seo boasts eight top-10s on the LPGA Tour this season and is looking forward to replicate the success on the Omega Dubai Ladies and, hopefully, follow in the footsteps of In Kyung Kim, the only Korean to have won the event in 2009.
“The field in Dubai is pretty strong, as ever, and it will be fun playing there. I have never been to the city, but do know there is a strong Korean community out there who is passionate about their game. So, I don’t think I will be short on fan following,” said Seo, ranked 30th in the world.
“It will be great to be in the mix on the final day, but I don’t to want to think that far ahead. I will try and do my best and see how things unfold,” said Seo, who is also called "the final round queen'' as eight out of her 11 career crowns on the LPGA of Korea were the results of her last-day heroics.
Welcoming Seo to Dubai, Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf DUBAi, said: “She is incredibly talented, versatile and a wonderful addition to this year’s field. I really admire the volume of quality golfers being produced by Korea which has caught the attention of the golf world.
“I think it’s all down to the combination of work ethic and access to top quality coaching that Korean golfers have become the sport’s new gold standard. I am sure the fans will turn in large numbers to follow her progress. I wish her and all other competitors the very best.”
golf in DUBAi' is backed by Omega as the title sponsor and Dubal (Dubai Aluminium) as the sponsor. The co-sponsors are: CNN, Drydocks World & Maritime World, Emirates NBD, Gulf News, Mercedes-Benz and wasl while Dubai Duty Free, Carpetland and Motivate are the Patrons in golf in DUBAi's drive to showcase the emirate's vibrant golfing scene to a worldwide audience.
HEE KYUNG SEO FACT-FILE
Date of birth: July 8, 1986
Nationality: South Korea
Residence: Orlando, Florida
Turned professional: 2006
Current tours: LPGA Tour (joined 2011) and LPGA of Korea (2006)
Professional wins: 12, including 11 on LPGA of Korea
Best results in LPGA Major Championships: Kraft Nabisco Championship – tied fourth in 2012; LPGA Championship – tied 34th in 2011; US Women's Open – second in 2011; Women's British Open – tied fifth in 2010
Achievements and awards: LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2011