WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- There may be no one currently playing the LPGA Tour who gets as much out of their ability as Mi Hyun Kim. She says she is 5 feet and an inch, and when you look down at her smiling beneath those pigtails, that measurement seems like a stretch. If she tops the scale at more than 110 pounds, it is not by much.
Clearly, Kim's competitive heart is a lot tougher than her disarming smile would ever lead one to believe, as demonstrated last week when she won the SemGroup Championship in storm-battered Oklahoma on the first hole of a playoff, her eighth career LPGA title.
But the shy Kim, who often tees up her answer to a reporter's question with a giggle, also has a heart that appreciates the world around her. That's why after she saw the disaster ravaged on Greensburg, Kan., by a tornado last Friday that killed 10 and demolished 95 percent of the town, Kim decided to donate $100,000 to people she had never met living in a state she had never visited.
"Honestly, I make a lot of money in the USA," Kim said Tuesday at the Michelob Ultra Open at the Kingsmill Resort & Spa. "Mostly, I have made donations in Korea. But I wanted to help here, too."
When Kim got to the SemGroup Championship last week, winning was the last thing on her mind. Cedar Ridge Country Club was going to play more than 6,600 yards and the rain that drenched the Tulsa area had the layout playing even longer. For a player who averages 240 yards off the tee, it was not an ideal situation.
"I never expected to win," the 30-year-old Kim said. "I thought a long hitter would win. Last week was a surprise for me because I am not a long hitter. God gave it to me as a special present. He used me to help those people."
Kim's donation will reach tornado victims via the United Way Greensburg Disaster Fund.
Ron Sirak is the executive editor of Golf World magazine.