2011 LPGA Rookie of the Year retires

November 3, 2015
Seo Hee-kyung

Seo Hee-kyung

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Former LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year Seo Hee-kyung announced her retirement on Wednesday, saying she’d like to spend more time with her young family.

Through her Seoul-based agency, Spotizen, Seo, 29, said she felt it was just the right time to leave competitive golf behind to become a better mother and wife.

“I started my career wanting nothing less than to win one tournament,” said Seo, who is leaving with 11 Korea LPGA (KLPGA) wins and one LPGA Tour victory. “And I’ve experienced and accomplished so much more than I ever dared dreamed of.”

She said she is “relieved and happy” to be closing one chapter in her life and opening another one, adding, “I am really looking forward to starting a new life, not as a golfer, but as a woman.”

“I chose to play golf and I stuck to it for a decade,” she said. “I have no regrets about my playing career.”

Seo joined the KLPGA Tour in 2005 and began dominating the competition in 2008 with six victories. In 2009, she added five more victories while leading the tour in money, scoring average and the Player of the Year points.

She won the Kia Classic on the LPGA Tour as a non-member, earning herself playing privileges for the following season. She played the U.S. tour full-time in 2011, and was named the Rookie of the Year while finishing second at the U.S. Women’s Open.

Seo went on a hiatus after getting married and giving birth to a son last year, before returning to the field this spring.