MJ was having a decent rookie year on the
LPGA, but still hadn't achieved a top ten, when she suddenly
found herself in contention at the Safeway Classic. She played
brilliantly on Sunday, carding a career low 65, but could
not get the final birdie to win the event outright. Fortunately,
she outlasted Suzann Pettersen and Michele Redman in the playoff,
making a clutch birdie putt on the second playoff hole for
her first career win. She would go on to finished 31st on
the money list in 2009, fifth in the Rookie of the Year standings.
Hur also finished 31st on the money list in
2010. Her scoring average was slightly better, and she notched
2 top 10s for the second straight year. But she was not able
to win, unlike in 2009.
2011 was a much worse year for MJ. She still
maintained top status on tour, but finished 74th on the money
list, with only one top ten all year. She continued to struggle
in 2012. She had two top tens, including a 3rd at the Navistar,
but still earned only $202K, good for just 59th on the money
MJ had a mostly down year in 2013. She did
have one top ten in Taiwan, and also achieved her best ever
Major finish, a tie for 25th at Sebonack for the US Women's
Open. But she still only finished 75th on the money list,
barely good enough to maintain full status on tour.
2014 started much the same for Hur, but swing
changes she had been practicing really started working in
late summer, and she had a run of great form that led to her
second career win. First she notched a 9th place at the Portland
Classic; she followed that with a fantastic performance at
the year's final Major, the Evian Championship. At that event,
Hur contended all week and finished tied for 3rd, her first
ever top ten in a Major.
Finally, it all came together for her at the
next event, the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. She shot a 64,
tying her career best score, in round 1. She managed to hang
onto the lead until the final round, where world #1 Stacy
Lewis made a big charge at her. But Hur did not blink, shooting
a 66 to secure her first win in five years, and with her father
carrying her bag! She broke down in justifiable tears. Her
great season (most career top tens, most career money, highest
money list position of 30th) led to a new sponsorship deal
with Hana Bank at the end of the season.