Baldry: Five newcomers to watch

Hee Kyung Seo
Hee Kyung Seo ( Getty Images )

Monday, April 18, 2011

Five newcomers to watch as they begin the ’11 season living out their LPGA dreams:

Kimberly Kim

Age: 19

Credentials: Became the youngest player to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur, at age 14 in 2006; finished runner-up in three other USGA championships; two-time Curtis Cup participant.

Reason to watch: Kim has as much natural talent as any other rookie on tour. Success at such a young age made it difficult to manage expectations and stay motivated. She keeps us guessing.

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Jessica Korda

Age: 18

Credentials: Runner-up at 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur; represented USA on victorious Curtis Cup team last summer; cruised through LPGA Q-School to earn her card at age 17.

Reason to watch: Jessica, daughter of tennis champ Petr Korda, has a sparkling personality and a game that matured tremendously last year. She naturally attracts people.

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Jennifer Song

Age: 21

Credentials: Completed a USGA trifecta in 2009, winning the U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links and earning low-amateur honors at the U.S. Women’s Open.

Reason to watch: Song donates one-third of her winnings to charity, a practice she started on the Futures Tour, where she won two times in nine events.

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Danah Bordner

Age: 30

Credentials: Former Big Ten champ endured a long road on the developmental circuit before earning LPGA status for the first time when she tied for fourth at Q-School last December.

Reason to watch: In an age when players turn professional before they graduate from high school, Bordner kicks it back old school, reminding us that some things are worth the wait.

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Hee Kyung Seo

Age: 24

Credentials: Earned her LPGA card by winning the 2010 Kia Classic by six strokes; tied for fifth at the ’10 Ricoh Women’s British Open; recorded 11 career victories on the Korean LPGA.

Reason to watch: Known as the “Supermodel of the Fairways” in Korea, Seo will have plenty of her compatriots tuned in to watch her compete on the next level.