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Kim Hyo-Joo Proves She Is Real Deal
Kim Hyo-Joo of South Korea in action during this week’s Hyundai China Ladies Open at Mission Hills Shenzhen. All photographs by Power Sport Images for Mission Hills

South Korea's Kim Hyo-Joo had raised eyebrows at the US$550,000 Hyundai China Ladies Open by voicing her fears that if she didn’t keep winning, the golfing world might quickly forget her.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

As the galleries gathered alongside the historic Jack Nicklaus-designed World Cup Course at Mission Hills Shenzhen all week, and the international field gathered and then pretty much demolished here can all attest, Kim is golf’s rising star, seemingly destined for a glittering career at the very top of the game.

The 19-year-old dominated the final round at Mission Hills Shenzhen on Sunday, showing the steely nerves and complete all-round game many say will see her rule the sport in years to come as she scored a final-round seven-under par 65 for a three round total of 14-under.

It was an impressive way to round out the season for a teenager, who won this event in 2012 and who has picked up six titles now in the calendar year, among them her first Major title when she won the Evian Championship in France in September.

The teenager seems, along the way, to be taking the fanfare that now follows her in her stride and took time on the sidelines in Shenzhen to reflect the year soon to end.

“I have the confidence and I just try to do my best,” said Kim. “I don’t know what the results will be but I will just do my best. I’m not really sure about what my strengths are or why I did so well this year.

“Last year was my first as a professional so I felt I had a bit of a burden. But this year I have been a bit more relaxed so I think that has been reflected in my play and in my results.”

That win at the Evian Championship was Kim’s first attempt at a Major and she basically did what she did today at Mission Hills Shenzhen – she kept her calm on her way to a one-stroke victory.

“After the first round I was 10-under and I was really relaxed after that. It was my first time and I didn't have any stress and I think that helped me,” Kim explained.

“Also Annika Sorenstam has been my idol and I got to meet her at the Evian Championship and stood next to her. It was wonderful. I had always looked up to her and to meet her was a great experience so I think that helped me with my confidence.”

Kim now heads for some off-season training before a 2015 that sees her on the US LPGA Tour for the first time, while keeping up appearances on the Korean Tour is also a priority.

She said she had found Mission Hills Shenzhen to her liking this week and would leave confident about a future that is looking very bright indeed.

“The World Cup course here is great and it is a bit difficult, too, so it is a challenge I have enjoyed all week,” said Kim. “I wanted to win so my fans in Korea would not forget me.”

After her exploits here at the Hyundai China Ladies Open – an event co-sanctioned by the China LPGA and the Korea LPGA – it is a confident prediction that there will be little chance of that happening.

“We were part of history here today,” said Mission Hills Group Vice Chairman Mr Tenniel Chu. “It is the first time we have hosted this tournament on our World Cup Course and it seems fitting that a layout designed by Jack Nicklaus, one of the all-time greats, should be the platform for a victory by a fantastic young player in Kim Hyo Joo, one who has such a great future in front of her.”

About Mission Hills

Mission Hills Group, owner and operator of Mission Hills in the heart of the Pearl River Delta and the tropical island of Hainan, is the pioneer in China’s fledgling hospitality, sports and leisure industry. Mission Hills Shenzhen-Dongguan, which contains 12 championship golf courses, is officially the world's biggest golf club, and Mission Hills Haikou, which features 10 courses, is the world’s largest public golf facility and the world’s largest mineral springs and spa resort. Mission Hills Group currently encompasses a myriad of businesses in golf management, real estate, commercial retail development, residential development, wellness, education, and theme parks. The company is expanding facilities to include world-famous hotel brands, major tourist attractions, retail developments, entertainment districts, office space and residential accommodation. It is also in the process of developing new resorts at other locations across China. In addition, Mission Hills is the host and promoter of several high-profile golf tournaments, including the World Ladies Championship and the World Celebrity Pro-Am. The Group has hosted more than 100 international tournaments and world-class events, from the world’s biggest junior golf programme to elite professional tournaments featuring the game’s top players, including a record five editions of the World Cup of Golf。


About Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Group is the world’s fastest-growing auto brand since 2005 (Global Top Five Automobile Maker). With its 32 manufacturing plants in nine countries, 13 R&D centres in six Countries and 40 sales offices in 26 countries, Hyundai Motor’s brand value exceeds US$10 billion for the first time, according to Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2014. In China, there are seven manufacturing plants and one R&D centre.

Ongoing investment in the brand, such as active involvement in high-profile sports marketing activities with UEFA, FIFA and the World Rally Championships, also continue. In Seoul, the automaker opened its first brand experience space, Hyundai Motorstudio, while a second one is scheduled to open in Moscow later this year. Hyundai announced its latest brand direction “Modern Premium” and slogan “New Thinking. New Possibilities” at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. Since then, a wide range of Hyundai Motor’s divisions including product development, design, marketing, sales and after sales, have applied the direction to their work in a sustainable, consistent and systematic way. Enhanced global brand awareness and preference of the Hyundai brand through such efforts contributed to the increase in global sales and profits.

A car is no longer simply a means of transportation that links people to people; it has become a life space that occupies a central role in people’s lives. As such, Hyundai Motor Company seeks to become a lifetime partner in the everyday lives of customers.


For details or inquiries:
Niall Donnelly
Director of Marketing & Communications – International Golf & Sports
Mission Hills China
Tel: (86 755) 2802 0888 ext 38568
Mobile: (86) 18038176640 or (852) 6052 3330
Email: NiallDonnelly@missionhillschina.com



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