LPGA Winner IK Kim Donates Check to Charity

Let's give a hand to In-Kyung Kim, winner of the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Kim closed with a 64, and she deserves applause both for the victory and for shooting 64 to earn it.

She also deserves applause for donating her entire winner's check - all $220,000 of it - to charity. Kim announced that intention right after her victory, with the Lorena Ochoa Foundation getting half, and the other half going to an American charity yet to be determined.

A commitment to charity is something the Korean contingent on the LPGA takes seriously, and they don't get nearly enough credit for their regular acts of generosity.

Back in 2007, after winning the SemGroup Championship, Mi Hyun Kim donated $100,000 of her winner's share - roughly half her check - to the United Way Greensburg Disaster Fund. That fund helped families in a small Kansas town that was destroyed by a tornado.

Donations of that size - a player giving his or her entire winner's share, or a very large part of it - are not exactly common, but it does happen in both men's and women's professional golf.

Many of the Korean players regularly make cash donations, sending money back home to Korean charities while also supporting American charities and groups in other parts of the world, too.

In 2009, 30 of the LPGA's Korean players visited the Ronald McDonald House of NW Ohio and took part in chores. They returned the next day, after passing the hat amongst themselves, to donate they $13,570 they'd collected.

Jee Young Lee gave $10,000 to the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program. Jeong Jang regularly pays tribute to Korean War veterans by visiting veterans groups and war memorials.

Of course, raising money for charity is one of the tasks that most tour and tournament organizations assign themselves, regardless of where the tour is located in the world. And many, many pro golfers have namesake charitable foundations, or work to raise money for causes that are important to them.

And the practice of LPGA players making large cash donations certainly isn't limited to the Korean players; Michelle Wie had donated nearly $1 million in cash to charity within her first year as a professional golfer.

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