South Korean LPGA Tour star Choi Na-yeon has made a donation to a U.S. grant program for junior golfers, the tour said Wednesday.
In a statement, the LPGA Tour said Choi contributed $30,000 to the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program to provide golf equipment to girls beginning to take interest in the game.
Choi, the No. 2-ranked female golfer in the world, won twice in 2012, including the season-ending CME Group Titleholders last weekend. In July, she won her first career major at the U.S. Women’s Open.
The tour said Choi announced her donation plan on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program.
“I want to give the girls my message: Have a dream and achieve it,” Choi was quoted as saying. “My dream came from Pak Se-ri (a South Korean-born veteran and a Hall of Famer) in 1998 when she won the U.S. Open. This year, I achieved my dream by winning the U.S. Open. With the golf clubs, these girls can practice hard and dream to be LPGA players.”
According to LPGA, Choi’s donation will be given to more than 250 regional wings of Girls Golf across the U.S. on a needs basis.
The grant program, jointly run by LPGA and U.S. Golf Association, provides equipment based on age, size and ability for use at practice sessions and clinics, and it reaches about 8,000 girls between the ages of 7 and 17, LPGA added.
This is Choi’s second donation of $30,000 to LPGA-USGA Girls Golf since 2010.
“Players on the LPGA have truly embraced the concept of leaving the game better than they found it,” said Kiernan Schindler, director of the LPGA Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization that administers junior golf programs and scholarships. “This is a week to give thanks and we could not be more appreciative of Na-yeon’s generosity. She is showing the world how close the connection is between the players on the LPGA Tour and the members of the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program.”
Choi, 25, has also donated 10 million won ($9,230) each year since 2005 to a South Korean charity for needy children.
Separately, in 2008 and 2009, she donated 20 million won and 40 million won to a local university hospital to help young patients.
Choi also makes regular offseason visits to South Korean hospitals.
Choi ranked second on this year’s money list with $1.9 million.
She has made more than $7.6 million in her five-year LPGA career, which includes seven victories.