EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France – There’s never a dull moment with Danielle Kang. This time it’s a story about pickleball and a bug bite. While getting the scoop on the mysterious sting that led to an abrupt withdrawal from last week’s event, a number of folks dropped by near the putting green at Evian Golf Club to engage with one of the tour’s great characters.
Angel Yin hugged on her Solheim Cup pod-mate and wanted to know all about the mark left on Kang’s swollen right leg, buried somewhere beneath her rain pants.
“It looks like it’s rotting,” said Kang, the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA champ and Solheim Cup rock star.
“I love pickleball,” said an enthusiastic Juli Inkster on her way to practice. “I could see you attacking the net.”
Kang’s actually not that good at pickleball (so she says), but she was relaxing with friends at Gozzer Ranch Golf and Lake Club in Idaho when she swatted something away with her racquet. Didn’t think much of it really until her leg swelled up so badly in Indiana that she couldn’t fit into her pants or shorts.
When she finally sent a photo to her mother, Dr. Grace Lee, she got a swift reply: “You need to address immediately.”
Kang cut her pants during the pro-am round at the Indy Women in Tech Championship to try to relieve the pain, and then met with a doctor after the round. She withdrew from the tournament after two holes on Thursday and flew back to Las Vegas.
She’s on antibiotics now but feels ready tackle the Evian Championship.
Kang’s sixth season on LPGA brought a steep learning curve for the two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champ. Winning a major, she said, left her mentally drained.
“I wasn’t ready to play in the U.S. Open,” said Kang, who missed the cut. “Still quite wasn’t mentally there for the British.”
By the time the Solheim rolled around, however, the rookie was fired up and ready to pounce.
“I went back out and killed it,” she said.
As soon as Kang left Iowa, however, her adrenaline tanked. She practically fell asleep mid-round at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, where she also missed the cut.
Kang actually hasn’t cashed a check on the LPGA since she won the KPMG on July 2. It doesn’t feel that way though, given how she sparkled in Des Moines.
“I’m learning how to control the energy level,” she said.
The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle between all and nothing.