started playing golf at the age of 13. Though born in Korea, her
family moved to Australia when she was a teenager. It was there
she honed her skills, becoming a top junior player and representing
Australia on the National Team. She also won the Australian Junior
Championship three times, and broke several of Karrie Webb's junior
records in the process.
turning pro in 1998, Gloria quickly won her first professional tournament
on the KLPGA tour. The following year, she came over to America,
where a tie for 13th at Q-School earned her exempt status on the
2000 LPGA tour. Still only 19, her rookie year on the LPGA was not
particularly impressive, but she improved markedly in her second
year on tour. Still, she was playing at a middling level until late
in the season. All of a sudden, she caught fire, notching her first
top ten at the Canadian Open, then just a few weeks later shooting
her career best 64 in winning her first tournament on the LPGA tour,
the Williams Championship. Then just as suddenly, she faded again,
those two top tens being the only two she managed in 2001.
started with a bang, with a third place at the first event of the
year, the Takefuji Classic. She did not have another truly decent
tournament for several months after that, however. But as the summer
arrived, she posted a few good finishes, then came out of literally
nowhere to contend at the Sybase Big Apple Classic. Her 63 in the
third round there put her into a tie for the lead with none other
than Annika Sorenstam, but despite playing against the tour's #1
player the entire final round, it was Gloria who came out on top,
tied after regulation ended with fellow Korean Hee-Won Han. Gloria
put it away with a birdie on the first playoff hole, and grabbed
her second win.
finished the season just out of the top 20 on the money list, yet
her consistency was still not as great as the other top Koreans,
with only 5 top tens.
slumped again throughout most of 2003, notching an occasional good
finish, but otherwise not playing up to her standards. Then, towards
the end of the season, she caught fire, scoring her first top ten
in a Major at the British Open. She followed that with a blistering
62 in the final round of the CJ 9 Bridges Classic to leapfrog from
27th place to a tie for 2nd. This score tied for best ever achieved
in a third round in the LPGA.
finished the year in 34th place on the money list, but with momentum
heading into 2004. But the 2004 season was much like her previous
ones. Although she had her best scoring average, and finished 27th
on the money list, she was still not able to maintain consistency
throughout the season. Nonetheless, she did manage her best ever
finish in a Major, a tie for 4th at the LPGA Championship, and her
return to the top 30 indicated she was ready to take a big leap
in her career.
indeed, happened in 2005. Despite struggling with numerous injuries
all through the year, she easily managed her career best season
in 2005. She notched ten top tens, and had several good chances
to win tournaments. Although a victory eluded her, she still won
more than $800,000 in a season for the first time in her life, had
her best ever scoring average, and finished 9th on the money list,
the first time she had ever finished inside the top 20.
startled everyone by starting 2006 with the announcement that she
was getting engaged. She also said that she was not sure she would
continue playing golf once she was married, but would wait and see
how it went. The year did not start well; her grandfather died during
the year's second event, and she took time off to deal with that,
then took a while to get back into form. Towards the end of the
year, she started to play well again, and wound up in 25th place
on the money list.
December of 2006, Gloria got married to Hee Taek Chang, whom she
had met back when she lived in Australia, before she turned pro.
She reconnected with him in 2004, when she was playing the CJ 9
Bridges Classic on Cheju Island. A romance developed, eventually
leading to marriage. After their honeymoon, she returned to work,
preparing herself for another season on the LPGA.
was one of Gloria's weaker seasons on tour, with only one top ten
all year. She finished outside the top 50 on the money list as well.
However, the distraction of getting married probably accounts for
a lot of that. 2008 was even more of a struggle, with Gloria not
even making a top twenty on tour all year, and missing the cut quite
often. She didn't play at all in 2009, presumably due to injury.
She also had a son during this time, and might have been taking
some of that time off for the pregnancy and care of the little boy.
2010, Park returned to full time play, but only finished 111th on
the money list, making just 4 of 12 cuts during the year. She decided
to play on the KLPGA tour in 2011, playing their Qualifying School
to gain membership.
played on the KLPGA exclusively in 2011. She had a decent season,
finishing 24th on the money list. Her best finish was a second place
at the Nefs Masterpiece, and she had two other top tens in addition.
Although she still has limited membership on the LPGA, chances are
she will continue to focus on the KLPGA from now on.
2012, Gloria continued to focus exclusively on the KLPGA tour. It
was a tough year for her; she announced that she was divrocing her
husband. She finished 62nd on the KLPGA money list with 44 million
won earned. She had one top ten all year, an 8th place in May.