Su Oh: Golfer.

Su Oh, 22, golfer LPGA tour; for­mer world am­a­teur No. 1; 2016 Rio Olympian

The Saturday Paper - - Contents | The Week - Richard Cooke

I was born in Korea, and the whole fam­ily moved to Aus­tralia when I was eight. I started Grade 3 in Aus­tralia. I didn’t even know what golf was then. But my dad was a mas­ter. He loves golf. Melbourne had great courses, so he just went out and played a lot and one day I just fol­lowed him, and that’s how I started play­ing golf. I was about nine when I started play­ing.

I think I’m ac­tu­ally more of a nat­u­ral player, but I know I had some things in my swing that I wanted to change. You’ve got to be a good ball striker to be con­sis­tent, or to com­pete week to week on tour.

I’ve re­alised that, so maybe that’s why. I like things very sim­ple – I don’t re­ally like it when it gets too com­pli­cated.

Ev­ery­body is so good now. It’s re­ally tough out there. One shot could wind up be­ing a 20-spot dif­fer­ence some­times. Two un­der would be some­thing like high­20th, and then one un­der is 47th. It’s re­ally jam-packed ev­ery week. That’s why you just don’t know who’s gonna win, but you can al­ways tell the top play­ers. We’ve had a lot of dif­fer­ent win­ners this year so far.

If you’re on tour, you en­joy it. You’re ob­vi­ously play­ing against other peo­ple, but it’s not like ten­nis where it’s so one on one. When you’re play­ing down the stretch it’s al­ways that thrill. I’m ner­vous, but you al­ways re­mem­ber the shots that you hit re­ally well un­der pres­sure. There’s al­ways the mo­ment. Ev­ery sin­gle round there’s a mo­ment where you know if you make that, you have the mo­men­tum.

A lot of friends back home, they are golfers, but not pro­fes­sion­ally. Maybe a cou­ple are pro­fes­sional, but a lot of them I’ve met through golf, but not pro­fes­sion­ally. And I still have some school­friends. What friends ask me de­pends on how close they are. “What’s it like trav­el­ling in and out?” is a com­mon ques­tion. I guess it sounds pretty glam­orous, trav­el­ling ev­ery week to dif­fer­ent places. It is nice, but some­times you just want to stay in one place.

We don’t re­ally get to see parts of dif­fer­ent coun­tries other than golf courses. Un­less we make time, we don’t re­ally get to see the sur­round­ings.

A tour­na­ment takes four days, and a lot of peo­ple say, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” A lot can hap­pen be­tween the four days, so I think that’s why it’s so hard to put a great 72 holes to­gether. That’s why it’s hard to win. I was the No. 1 am­a­teur player in the world, for a lit­tle bit.

The ca­reer is a dif­fer­ent shape for women. We have to take time off if we want a fam­ily. A few peo­ple have asked me that ques­tion, and I have no idea. I’m just go­ing day by day.

The tough part of the job is I’m in my 20s and I’m con­stantly trav­el­ling. There’s no sta­bil­ity in my life. Bal­anc­ing that is tough, but I feel a lot more bal­anced now. This is my third year on tour. For my first two years it was just... It takes a lit­tle while to get used to it. Last year I sort of started to re­alise how crazy the life can be. So you have just got to find a good bal­ance.

When you have a good group of friends on tour it re­ally helps. When you have sim­i­lar in­ter­ests, and some­times you can stay to­gether so you rent out a house, like Airbnb, which has got­ten a lot more pop­u­lar. You cook a lot of the nights, and it’s a lit­tle bit more homey than a ho­tel room.

I have no idea why there are so many good Korean golfers. We also have a re­ally good group of Aus­tralians play­ing on the LPGA right now. Not just Korean–Aus­tralians. Be­fore it was just Web­bie [Kar­rie Webb] who was so dom­i­nant, but there weren’t too many Aus­tralians. Right now there are six, and you have to fight for the spot in the UL In­ter­na­tional Crown. We qual­i­fied fifth this year, which is the high­est we’ve ever qual­i­fied for the tour­na­ment.

The Kar­rie Webb Se­ries was my first ex­pe­ri­ence of the US Open, and that’s re­ally the pin­na­cle of golf. When you have any ques­tions for Kar­rie, she’s al­ways very open to com­mu­ni­cat­ing when­ever she’s been out here. She’s def­i­nitely been an in­flu­ence

• on me.

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