Updated: February, 2017


The Facts

Birthday: February 28, 1983
Rookie Year on LPGA: 2007
Birthplace: South Korea
Best LPGA Finish: Win (2006 Kolon-Hana Bank Championship)
Best LPGA Major Finish: T-48th (2008 Ricoh British Women's Open)

Best score:
Best Scoring Average for a year: 72.37 (2008)
Best Season money total: $339,534 (2008)
Best Season Money Position: 53rd (2008)
Most Top Tens/Season: 1 (2007, 2008)

Height: 5' 8"
2017 LPGA Status: On KLPGA tour
Nicknames: Cinderella
Sponsors: SK, Lee Dong Soo, Honma
How's her English?: Learning
Hobbies: Unknown
Road to the LPGA: Qualified for 2007 by winning the 2006 Kolon Hana Bank Championship

Capsule Bio

Jin Joo Hong joined the KLPGA in 2003. She was a decent player there, but not one of the very best. Perhaps her biggest claim to fame before the 2006 season was winning the Best Dressed Award at the 2005 KLPGA Annual Award Show.

But during the off season that year, Hong decided she wanted to see if she could elevate the level of her game. She worked intensively to improve during that Winter. The results were not immediately apparent, but by the middle of the 2006 KLPGA season, she started to appear on leaderboards with more regularity.

Her breakthrough came at the SK Enclean Solux Invitational in mid-September. This event had a stellar field that include LPGA powerhouses like Mi Hyun Kim and Grace Park, recent LPGA winners like Joo Mi Kim and Soo-Yun Kang, and top LPGA rookies Kyeong Bae and Jee Young Lee. Despite this deep field, Jin Joo absolutely steamrollered the competition. She got out to a big lead early and kept increasing it through the week. She ended up winning by seven shots.

As impressive as that was, Hong was not done yet. A month and a half later, she did the same thing to a field of LPGA players that she had done at the SK. She seized control of the Kolon-Hana Bank Championship, the lone LPGA tour event in Korea, and cruised to a 3 shot lead over stars like Jeong Jang, Se Ri Pak, Paula Creamer and Ji Yai Shin. Like Shi Hyun Ahn and Jee Young Lee before her, this win gave Hong a two year membership on the LPGA tour. A few weeks later, she nearly notched a top ten at the Tournament of Champions, her first event played in the States.


Seoul Sisters Exclusives
Candid 2007
Action 2007
Seoul Sisters Pix

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 10th.

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 12th.

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 golf.

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.

Back to Other Players Page