Still, she wasn't sure she wanted to play on the
LPGA. She had earlier planned to play on the JLPGA in 2007, so she
could live with her mother in Japan. But her mom convinced her that
the LPGA was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Jin Joo did not have a very strong 2007 rookie season
on the LPGA, alas, although she still managed a top ten at the end
of the year at the Tournament of Champions, and easily made enough
money to maintain her exempt status for 2008.
In 2008, her results were distinctly better; she
finished just outside the top 50 on the money list, and earned more
than $300,000. But in 2009, she only made about $70,000, and was
not able to maintain top status on tour. As a result, she played
most of her 2010 season in Korea. She had a decent year on the KLPGA,
finishing 15th on the money list with seven top tens.
On Christmas Day 2010, Hong got married. Several
months later, she was back in action on the KLPGA tour as a full
time member. It was not a great year for her, however. She only
managed to finish 60th on the money list, with her best finish a
She had a better 2012 season, finishing 41st on
the money list. She had two top fives, including a fourth at the
LIG Classic in August, and made about 85 million won. In 2013, she
only played one event on the KLPGA, the Saint Nine Masters, finishing
Hong did not play in 2014, but in 2015, she returned
full time to the KLPGA. She had three top tens that year and finished
37th on the money list. Her best result was a runner-up finish at
the Bogner MBN Women's Open in August. She now is a mother, and
is successfully mixing taking care of her child with playing professional
In 2016, Hong achieved one of the highlights of
her career. At the Fantom Classic, she hung tough all week, finally
emerging victorious in a playoff against Yoon Kyung Heo. It was
Hong's first win anywhere since her breakthrough win on the LPGA
tour back in 2006, a ten year winless streak broken. Hong tearfully
accepted the long awaited trophy with her young son in tow.
Other than her win, her best finish during the season
was a 6th; she had four top tens in total.
Hong finished 2016 27th on the KLPGA money list
with nearly 235 million won earned.