Story No. 8 – Min Seo Kwak Buys Dinner for the Field
Nobody showed growth on and off the golf course quite like Min Seo Kwak in 2014.
On the course, she finished second on the Volvik Race for the Card money list and earned $69,143 – by far the most of her career. Her previous high water mark for earnings was $13,620 in 2011. Kwak played on the LPGA Tour in 2012 and 2013, but she is now truly ready to test her game against the world’s best in 2015.
Off the course, she became a favorite amongst her peers. Her peers voted her the 2014 Heather Wilbur Spirit Award recipient; given annually to the player that best exemplifies dedication, courage, perseverance, love of the game and spirit towards achieving goals as a professional golfer. During both of her wins, her fellow competitors chanted “Kwak, Kwak, Kwak” as she strolled to the 18th green. She had a wide smile and always acknowledged the chant with her classic wave.
In Harris, Michigan – Min Seo decided to thank her competitors and the Symetra Tour staff by purchasing dinner at the Island Resort Casino for the entire field and Tour staff members.
Apparently, she approached Senior Coordinator of Player Services Erin Gasbarro early in the week and told her she wanted to do this. She really didn’t want people to know what she was doing. Of course, it came out that it was her.
A wonderful buffet dinner was set up in the ballroom of the casino and players and staff members enjoyed a hearty meal.
I remember seeing a stream of “thank you, Min Seo” from player after player after player on twitter.
I figured this was rare. You probably see acts of kindness like this in team sports, but not in individual sports. I asked Kathy Lawrence and some of the rules officials that have been around the Tour for a long time and nobody could remember a time that a player decided to purchase dinner for the field.
One of Kwak’s good friends on Tour is Marissa Steen, who presented Kwak with the Heather Wilbur award at the Symetra Tour Championship.
“Min Seo always has a smile on her face,” said Steen. “She is in a good mood everyday and it is contagious to all of those around her. Min Seo has a strong work ethic, which undoubtedly has played a vital role in her success. Even though she has come across obstacles in her career, as all golfers do, Min Seo’s dedication and positivity has paid off. I am honored to be graduating to the LPGA Tour next year alongside Min Seo Kwak.”