Jenny Shin, like many Koreans, started playing
golf while young, then moved from Korea to America to help
her budding career. It didn't take her long to make a mark
in the States. She won the Los Angeles City Championship at
the age of 10, and by the time she was 13, was competing in
USGA golf championships.
After competing at the Amateur Pub Links in
2006, Shin entered the US Girl's Junior championship, the
biggest event for junior golfers in the country. She was not
expecting to go very far in the tournament; in fact, her mother
had only reserved their hotel room until the quarterfinals,
expecting they would be out of things before then. But Shin
kept winning, working her way methodically through the competition.
In the semifinals, she struggled with dizziness in the middle
of her round, but still managed to win that match to advance
to the finals. Her opponent there was Korean American Vickie
Hurst, who had downed the top player in the field, Mina Harigae,
in her semifinal match.
The final was 36 holes. After 18 holes, they
were all tied, but Hurst took a decided advantage at the start
of the afternoon session. Hurst, who was outdriving Shin by
40 yards most of the day, went to a 3 up lead after winning
three straight holes. On the back nine, Hurst made a couple
of mistakes, but still held a 2 up lead with 4 holes to go.
She then missed a very short putt on the 33rd hole to give
Shin the hole, then missed a very makeable birdie on the 35th
hole. Still, she had a one up lead with one hole to play,
the match well in hand.
On the final hole, Hurst was on the green
in regulation, while Shin had to scramble to make par. Hurst
had two putts to win it, but finished the hole with a three
putt; thus Shin won the hole and tied the match, forcing a
playoff. On that first playoff hole, a shell shocked Hurst
made a mess of it, and ended up conceding the match to the
stunned 13 year old Shin. Shin thus became the second youngest
golfer in history (after Aree Song) to ever win this event.
It was only her second ever Girl's Junior competition.
In 2008, Shin lost in the finals of the Polo
World Golf Championship to Korean amateur Jung Min Lee. She
continued to play well throughout 2008 and 2009, making the
AJGA All American First team squad in 2009 for the third straight
Shin turned pro in 2010 and joined the Futures
Tour. She made 7 top tens during the season, improving gradually
through the year. After an 8th place at the Tate & Lyle
Championship, her first top ten, she made a 2nd, then a a
4th, then won her first event as a pro when she captured the
International at Concord in July. Three more top tens in her
final four events allowed her to finish 4th on the year ending
money list, which earned her full status on the LPGA tour
Shin had a decent rookie season on the big
tour. She achieved two top tens and made over $160,000 in
earnings. She finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year race.
This gave her top status for 2012.
Jenny Shin had a far better 2012 season. She
started the year with three straight top tens, but it was
at the third event, the HSBC Women's Champions, where she
had her first great chance to win. Indeed, she had the lead
with a hole to play when a long rain delay hit at the worst
possible time. When she returned to the course, she promptly
hit her drive into the trees. Shin wound up in a four way
playoff, and outlasted Shanshan Feng and Na Yeon Choi before
losing to the final contestant, Angela Stanford.
Shin ended up making more than twice her 2011
money with $447,000, good for 30th on the money list. She
notched five top tens. She definitely became a player to watch
thanks to her play in 2012.
In 2013, she continued her good play, but
at a slightly lower pace than 2012. She still made $332,000
and finished 43rd on the money list, but had only one top
ten. That came at the ShopRite Classic, where she finished
4th. She also managed a tie for 17th finish at the British
Open in 2013, the same place she had finished the previous
year at that event!
Jenny took a quantum leap forward in 2014,
having easily the best season of her career. She made by far
the most money she had ever made, over $700,000, which put
her 21st on the money list, her best ever position. She improved
her best scoring average by a full stroke, beating 71 for
the first time. She had several strong Majors: a 10th at the
US Women's Open, a 13th at the LPGA Championship and a 20th
at the Evian. She also notched 6 top tens, a new record for
her. Her best result was a solo third at the Swinging Skirts.
Jenny's 2015 season was a little less impressive
than 2014, but it was still quite good in its own right. She
had three top tens during the season and made over $600,000.
That was good for 26th on the money list. Her best results
were a solo fourth in Japan and a tie for 4th at the Australian
Women's Open. She also had a good year at the Majors, notching
top 20s in two and top 30s in two others; her best finish
was a tie for 11th at the ANA Inspiration.
Jenny also qualified for the ING team match
between the LPGA and KLPGA at the end of the year. She won
her singles match against Seon Woo Bae, but split her two
In 2016, Shin finally broke through with her
first career win. That came at the Volunteers of America Texas
Shootout in April. She also managed four other top tens during
the season. Her money list position was 27th with $630,584
earned. Not quite her best totals, but close to them.
Jenny also competed at the ING Champions again,
representing the LPGA team. Jenny lost when teamed with Hyo
Joo Kim 2 down to Hee Won Jung and Cecilia Cho, and lost when
teamed with Amy Yang against Ji Hyun Kim and Min Sun Kim 2
& 1. Jenny also lost her singles match against Ji Hyun
Kim 6 & 5.