Pearl Sinn is the godmother to the Korean players
on tour, the oldest and most experienced of all of them. Though
born in Korea, she has lived most of her life in America and is
an American citizen. But she has taken it upon herself to mentor
the young Korean players on tour; she was especially helpful to
Se Ri Pak in her rookie season.
Pearl had an impressive amateur career, culminating
in wins at the 1988 U.S. Women's Amateur and Public Links Championship,
two of the top events in amateur golf. She also represented the
U.S. at the Curtis Cup that year. Her pro career was not as impressive
at first, although she maintained exempt status for several years
on the LPGA after turning pro in 1989 and playing for a while in
Europe. She did manage to score a few top ten finishes every year,
Finally, in 1998, Pearl had a breakthrough victory
at the State Farm Rail Classic. She had been hanging in there all
weekend, just one or two shots out of the lead, and capitalized
on mistakes the leaders made to take the lead herself with one hole
to go. She then proceeded to sink a marvelous chip shot for the
win. This same year she helped mentor Se Ri Pak during her rookie
season, and returned to Korea to receive an athletic award from
the Korean government.
In 1999, she managed a second place in defense of
her Rail Classic title (Mi Hyun Kim won), and also won a KLPGA event.
Her career declined somewhat after that. Though
she still managed a couple top tens in the next few years, she was
no longer contending. 2002 was one of her weakest seasons, and she
was not able to maintain her exempt status on tour.
Meanwhile, she had other things going on. Her good
looks got her a modeling gig with Swedish clothing manufacturer
J. Lindeberg. Some of the racy images from that campaign appear
in the gallery. She served on the LPGA Tour Executive Committee
from 2000 - 2002, and, along with Donna Andrews, was a vice-president
in 2002. Also in 2002, she married Greg Bonanni and changed her
name to Pearl Sinn-Bonanni.
In 2003, pregnant with her first child, she only
played one event, and also did some commentating for ESPN. She gave
birth to Madeline Joy Bonanni on July 30, 2003. She played a very
limited schedule thereafter.
Pearl Sinn-Bonanni officially retired from professional
golf in 2006 to focus on her family and business interests.