Ji Young Oh started playing golf when she
was 12 years old. She quickly became a star in Korea, where
by 2005 she had made the national team.
In 2006, she came to the States and enrolled
at the Leadbetter Academy. She played on the Future Collegians
World Tour, a second tier amateur golf league, and won all
six events she entered. Her average winning score was an astounding
7.5 strokes. At the end of the year she entered LPGA Q-School,
where she finished tied for 9th to earn exempt status for
2007. She turned pro immediately thereafter.
Ji Young's rookie season started in rough
fashion, with her missing the cut in 9 of her first 11 events.
In the other two she came close to making top twenties, however,
so at least there was some promise there. But her rookie season
reached a turning point at the Safeway Classic in August.
She took the first round lead and played with Lorena Ochoa
in the final group on day 2. Only a final hole bogey prevented
her from finishing with a top five; she wound up 6th.
Although she would not make another top ten,
she played well in three of her remaining four events of the
year, including a tie for 12th at the Kolon-Hana Bank Championship.
She easily maintained her exempt status for 2008.
Ji Young's breakout season came in 2008. She
only missed one cut in the first half of the year, and notched
a top ten. But she really started to cruise in the summer.
She finished 10th at the Jamie Farr, then stunned everyone
with her first win the following week at the State Farm Classic.
Even more impressively, she beat super rookie Yani Tseng in
a playoff to do it. She earned well over $600,000 by the end
of the year, and made the cut in all four Majors, including
her first top 20 in a Major at the British Open.
2009 was another very good season for Ji Young.
She had almost an identical money list position as in 2008,
finishing 24th. She also chalked up her second career win
at the Sybase Classic, and did it in dominating fashion; she
never looked like she would lose from the time she had a hole
in one in the first round.
In the off-season, Ji Young trained with Jiyai
Shin in Australia. She worked very hard on her fitness in
particular. But Oh didn't win in 2010, and actually had a
significantly worse season than her two previous years. In
fact, she didn't even manage a top ten. Her 72nd place finish
on the money list was still good enough for her to maintain
full status for 2011.
Oh's struggles got worse in 2011. She made
only one cut all year, and that was a 54th place finish. She
would not have even had status on tour were it not for her
two wins, which gave her category 4 status for 2012.
Things got slightly better for Oh in 2012.
She made all but five cuts, but did not have a better finish
than a tie for 42nd. She wound up 109th on the money list,
which allowed her to hang on to limited tour status for 2013.