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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

HaNa Jang Is Leaving the LPGA Tour

In case you missed the news, HaNa Jang is leaving the LPGA Tour next month and will focus on the KLPGA Tour.

HaNa Jang

The reason? A simple one, one that's becoming a bigger consideration for both men and women on all the golf tours -- family. LPGA.com quoted her thus:
"I thought being world number one was the only goal in my life and that was where my happiness comes from," said the 25-year-old, a four-time winner on the LPGA Tour. "But I realized there are many more important things than that.
"Even though I won four times (on the LPGA Tour), I still felt empty inside. I made this decision because being with my family is more important to me than being the world's top golfer."
Golfchannel.com further expanded on her quotes:
"I made up my mind after seeing my mother, who's close to 70, lead such a lonely life here," Jang said. "I thought being the best in the world was my only goal. But from now on, I'll spend as much time with my mother as I can." 
Both golfchannel.com and golfweek.com also noted that Jang has had some emotional upheavals to deal with as well. Besides the well-documented accident involving In Gee Chun -- which Chun says the two have largely dealt with -- there was criticism from the Korean press and fans over the Beyonce dance celebration at the HSBC Women's Champions, which they thought came too soon after the accident. That caused her more distress than we here in the US realized.

As I said, this isn't the first time we've seen family reasons affect a player's tour decisions. Jiyai Shinn comes to mind, having left the LPGA to spend more time at home in South Korea. Both Annika and Lorena left the LPGA to start families. Several of the PGA Tour players have taken or are taking time off from their tour to deal with family problems when, in years past, they might have tried to maintain at least some kind of schedule.

Like Jang, an increasing number of players are finding that the urge to be Number One -- whatever that happens to mean for that player -- simply isn't as satisfying as they thought it would be. And perhaps the increased prize money has made that sort of decision easier to make. Add in the never-an-off-season grind of professional golf, and it's not so surprising that players are making these decisions.

Hopefully HaNa Jang's decision will bring her the peace she's looking for. And maybe we'll get lucky -- maybe she'll find that she can still play some LPGA events after all.

4 comments:

  1. Not sure about the KPMG...with her resume she would have been eligible had she not given up her card...but she is still exempt into the USWO.

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    1. Since she said she's giving it up next month, maybe she means AFTER the KPMG.

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  2. Going to miss watching her out there. Enjoyed her energy and aggressive play. At a relatively young age she's already setting her priorities. Good for her.

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    1. At least she's still playing. Perhaps we'll see her at the majors.

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