May
23
2010
Know Your Asians: Amy Yang (A-Me Yang)
By Stephanie Wei under General

There’s an influx of Asians on the LPGA. And they’re really good. In fact, they win a lot. But many fans find it difficult to keep track of who is who because, you know, all Asians look alike and their names sound the same. So, let’s get to know them better.

Looks like Amy Yang is going to lose to Angela Stanford, who is 2-up with four to play in the semifinals of the Sybase Match Play Championship, but let’s get to know Amy better, anyway. Who knows, she could hit the shots of her life in those closing holes. Either way, she’s proved to be a force to be reckoned with.

*Update: Winning two of the final four holes, Amy forced the match to playoff and lost in the first extra hole to Stanford. I couldn’t see very well, but I believe she missed a relatively short par putt.

  • Born in South Korea, she moved to Australia at age 15 to pursue golf more seriously.
  • She’s 20 years old.
  • Her given name is Hee-Young Yang, but she probably wanted to make it easier for non-Asians to pronounce her name, so she chose an Anglo one. (Balding, middle-aged white dudes in media rooms across the world are very grateful!)
  • As an amateur in 2006, she won the Ladies European Tour’s ANZ Ladies Masters, becoming the youngest winner ever on the LET at 16 years, 192 days.
  • The LET granted her a special three-year membership exemption as a 17-year-old.
  • In 2007 she placed in the top-20 four times while still attending high school.
  • Amy claimed her second LET win with a four-shot win at the Ladies German Open in June 2008.
  • When she accepted the trophy, she announced that she was donating her entire prize of $61,260 to victims of a recent earthquake in China.
  • At LPGA Q-School in December 2008, she placed second to earn full playing status for the 2009 season.
  • Amy lives with her father, Joon Mo (James), mother, Sun Hee (Sunny), and younger brother, Steven, in Orlando, FL.
  • The 30th seeded Yang beat Michele Redman, Juli Inkster, Morgan Pressel and Haeji Kang to reach the semifinals.
  • After beating Kang in the quarterfinals, she told the Golf Channel that match play makes her nervous.
  • Interestingly enough, she also said she’s been playing conservatively, rather than aggressively (the typical match play strategy), to put pressure on her opponent by staying in the match for every hole.
  • Obviously, this rarely-practiced strategy worked for most of the week — until she cowered (kinda) at Angela Stanford’s aggressive game.
  • Oh, I almost forgot, she’s almost fluent in English. (Surprise!)

Asian-ness Scale (1-10, 1: Michelle Wie, totally Americanized; 5: Se Ri Pak, somewhat assimilated; 10: Eun-Hee Ji, 한국말): Amy = 5.2