Fresh out of the blocks and radiating immense talent, Lee So-young will be hoping to make her mark when she makes her debut in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters to be held under the under patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at Emirates Golf Club from December 7 to 13.
The first golfer to win gold in Olympic play in more than a century, a feat she achieved at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China, in August, Lee will be one of the major attractions at the season-ending Ladies European Tour event where she will be joined a slew of top drawcards from around the world in what promises to be an absorbing battle in the sun.
“To win the first Olympic Gold Medal in golf in more than 100 years, even though if it was the Youth Olympic Games, was an amazing feeling,” said the 17-year-old South Korean who shot a final round 65 to beat Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Ssu-chia by three shots.
She went on to showcase her burgeoning talent a month later at the Incheon Asian Games where she won the team silver, receiving widespread acclaim for her performance.
A strong finish at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters will ice the cake for the young prodigy who appears ready for the rigours of the big stage as she has already indicated her intention to turn professional next year.
“I am really excited at the prospect of competing in the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, which I understand from my friends has the feel of a major with all those big names from the LPGA and Ladies European Tours.
“It will be my first time to Dubai and I can’t wait to get started. I’m delighted to be given this opportunity by golf in DUBAi and Omega and look forward to playing on the Majlis course and making new friends,” she said.
“I am sure the experience gained at the Youth Olympics and Asian Games will come in handy. The idea is to go out and have fun,” said Lee, who also won the 36-hole qualifier at the 2014 Australian Amateur Championships in Adelaide.
Welcoming Lee to Dubai, Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf DUBAi, said: “She is incredibly talented, versatile and a wonderful addition to this year’s field. I really admire the volume of quality golfers being produced by South Korea, which has caught the attention of the golf world.
“I think it’s all down to a combination of a strong work ethic and access to top quality coaching that Korean golfers have become the sport’s new gold standard. I am sure the fans will turn out in large numbers to follow her progress. I wish her and all other competitors the very best.”
The Omega Dubai Ladies Masters is backed by OMEGA as the title sponsor and Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC as sponsor. The co-sponsors are: CNN, Drydocks World & Maritime World, Emirates NBD, Gulf News, Jebel Ali Resorts and Hotels, Mercedes and wasl, while Dubai Duty Free, Neocasa Interiors and Motivate Publishing are the Patrons in golf in DUBAi’s drive to showcase the emirate’s vibrant golfing scene to a worldwide audience.