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Avatar of BillBy on August 28th, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Did LPGA Golfers Shi Hyun Ahn and Il Mi Chung cheat at the CN Canadian Open?

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LPGA Blogger and Caddy Larry Smich wrote the following-

Finally, caught in the act! All this time, I’ve been detailing cheating by the Koreans and been called a racist and more for my observations. Even been taken to the woodshed by the head honcho. Well yesterday, it all became evident that I was spot on. Did you notice that Shi Hyun Ahn and Ilmi Chung were disqualified? The reason is that they both played the wrong ball on their final hole and not correcting the infraction before signing their cards, to put it mildly.

Here is what I’ve heard of the alleged incident. Both balls were in the fairway. Ahn missed the green and Ilmi hit hers on. Ahn chipped it close and tapped in for par. This is where it all begins. Apparently, Ahn noticed that this was not her ball and conversed in Korean with Ilmi. In the mean time, at least one caddie in the group noticed it also but did not say anything. They finished the hole, went to the scoring tent, checked the scores and signed their cards. Somewhere, either before or after going to the tent, Ahn told her caddie (a Nationwide looper and only working for her this week) “You did not see anything”. As of right now, I do not know who owned up and went to the officials. The third player in the group was oblivious to the situation and was not involved. BTW, Ahn shot 72 and Chung a 76.

Before I go any further I’ll give some background on Smich and the golfers he is accusing. He has been an LPGA caddy for over 30 years. In that time, he has had three winning bags. The last of which was with Mi Hyun Kim in 1999. Shortly after that win, Kim fired Smich.

Smich has worked for other South Korean players, but the last was over two years ago. He did work for Chung at some point in the middle of the last decade.

Anyone who reads Smich’s blog knows he doesn’t like the Korean players. Ryan at Waggle Room uses the word vendetta towards how Smich writes about players from South Korea. In 2007, Smich also accused LPGA player Young Kim of cheating. Most of the time Smich doesn’t name players when he makes cheating allegations.

Ahn is a one-time winner on the LPGA Tour and was the 2004 Rookie of the Year. She is a looker, and is nicknamed Cinderella. I get lots of hits at my home blog from people looking either for Ahn photos or are looking to find out what golfer is nicknamed Cinderella.

At the 2009 LPGA Championship, a golf ball of Ahn’s struck and killed a bird.

Chung has never won on the LPGA Tour and since the retirement of Pearl Sinn, I believe she is the oldest South Korean born player on the LPGA Tour.

Ryan at Waggle Room apparently got someone to corroborate part of what Smich says(Remember he didn’t see it happen)

We have learned of a second account of the situation. The second account is all the same until the green.

When Ahn and Chung realized what had happened, Chung’s caddy approached Downey’s caddy and said, “We have a bit of a problem, but I’m not saying anything.” Downey’s caddy went into the scoring tent. Ahn and Chung signed for their scores. Downey’s caddy was prepared to turn in Ahn and Chung, which then prompted their seeking of LPGA officials for a ruling and their certain disqualification.

The LPGA’s Mike Scanlan also made the following comment to Ryan-

“The players sought out a rules official after their round to explain the situation and were subsequently disqualified.

“No one with the LPGA was privy to any discussions between the players and caddies in advance of the players’ efforts to seek out a rules official to explain the situation. We know only that the players came forward, admitted their issue and received the appropriate result based on the Rules of Golf.”

Bob Weeks, who is also blogging on the incident, went looking for Larry Smich at the tournament. Interestingly enough, Smich couldn’t be found. The golfer who he was caddying for, Stephanie Loudon, had her husband carrying her bag for the third round.

At the moment, the golf tournament is on television, and so far as I know, no mention has been made of the Ahn and Chung incident.

Deliberate cheating in professional golf is very serious and not unheard of. A Latin American player was suspended by the PGA Tour around 40 years ago.  Jane Blalock was suspended for a year by the LPGA in1972. That was till she filed a antitrust lawsuit.  The accusations against Blalock was probably the sport’s biggest cheating scandal of the last 50 years. She was one of the tour’s stars at the time. What we have today involves two fairly obscure players.  I don’t know if we’ll ever learn what did happen. The golf media rather write repetitive article after repetitive article on Tiger Woods than give the LPGA even five minutes of their time.

On a side note, Michelle Wie is leading the Canadian Open.  Should she hold on to win, the LPGA attention deficit might decrease at least for one week.

Note- The first photo above is Ahn and the second is Chung.

Update- I corrected the post to say South Korean born when referring to Pearl Sinn. She is a naturalized U.S. Citizen, played for the United States in Curtis Cup competition and won the U.S. Amateur.

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  • MAJ K
    8:17 am on August 28th, 2010 1

    Pearl Sinn is American!!! She became US citizen at 14.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_Sinn

  • Tom
    11:36 am on August 28th, 2010 2

    All this jealousy and hate because South Korean women keep winning.. :lol:

    LPGA will only come alive if an American wins. And that's not going to happen any time soon. :lol:

  • Teadrinker
    8:02 pm on August 28th, 2010 3

    Tom,

    Michelle Wie's American.

  • Tom
    12:24 am on August 29th, 2010 4

    Teadrinker, that maybe.

    But she has never won anything,1

    And is she considered american enough in America?, 2

  • Teadrinker
    1:33 am on August 29th, 2010 5

    "But she has never won anything"

    Check your facts. She has, and she's tied to win the tournament mentioned in the article above.

    "And is she considered american enough in America?"

    That doesn't even deserve a response.

  • Tom
    3:55 am on August 29th, 2010 6

    Fact #3, she's just a loser anyway, so who cares. :lol: :mrgreen: :lol:

  • JoeC
    4:18 am on August 29th, 2010 7

    #6

    Then she's obviously not Korean enough for you either

  • MK
    3:54 pm on August 30th, 2010 8

    Smich needs to concentrate on his career as a caddy rather than trying to smear the reputation of players that have been on tour for many years. Compare Smich's track record to that of the two players involved. It will clearly show that Smich is nothing but a racist and malicious person who does not even deserve to be a part of the golfing industry. Just because two foreign players talk in their native tongue does not mean that they are conspiring to cheat. LPGA officials stated that the two players came forward within minutes of finding out what had happened, not the 2 hours that Smich states. Smich's reputation may be smeared for what you have done in the past, but do not smear the reputations of players who have worked hard to become pro athletes. I guess next time during the World Cup Soccer tournament, all foreign team players should speak in English to the each other. Both players had nothing to gain by trying to cheat as Smich claims. They were not even in contention to make the cut and a 2 stroke penalty would not have hurt them.

  • MAJ K
    8:55 pm on August 30th, 2010 9

    Tom,

    What is your definition of American? White?

  • paul
    9:17 pm on August 30th, 2010 10

    mk could not be more wrong and is obviously not a competitive golfer.This has got nothing to do with smich who well may have an agenda, however, these players should be immediately suspended from lpga play. Whether they were vying for the lead or at the back of the pack the fact remains they cheated! Golf is a game of honor, They knew what they were doing as soon as they saw the markings on their golf balls on the green, that is when they should have stopped and corrected the situation. They only came forward when they thought hey would be outed, they are a disgrace to the game. Ban them and let them be an example.

  • Mk
    12:12 am on August 31st, 2010 11

    Paul, don't assume that the two cheated. Ahn's caddie went to the wrong ball and gave yardage from fairway. Ahn hit her ball to greenside fringe. She chipped to within inches and tapped in. She never saw her ball close up since driving off tee. All this because her caddie went to the wrong ball first. Meanwhile, Chung didn't know that Ahn hit the wrong ball. The two balls were within 10 yards of each other. Chung could not go to her ball since it was in front of Ahn's ball or so they thought. Yes the players made a mistake of not double checking the ball. They trusted the caddie since he got there first and started to give yardage distance. Not all players use the lines on the ball to putt. The caddie wiped the ball and Chung putted out. She never thought about that it was the wrong ball. This was the error of trusting the caddie more than they should have. Make more sense to you now? Two unsuspecting players being accused without the facts is what I hate most about people blowing up stories.

  • Linky
    1:14 am on September 1st, 2010 12

    That's no surprise at all.

    That's one of Korean traditional way to win.

  • paul
    2:09 am on September 1st, 2010 13

    MK so when do you think they knew? Surely before they signed the scorecard, if not before they putted then certainly when they picked their ball out of the hole. While they may not have a putting line every player has a unique mark on the ball, crazy to think they were both so distracted as to notice they had the wrong ball at that time.

    How could they possibly have gotten new information later in the day that prompted them to come forward and admit to their transgression, they had all the information at the time except for the fact that someone honourable was going to turn them in. They did not cheat because they were Korean they cheated because they are dishonest and tried to get away with it, you dishonour the game by defending them.

    kick them off the tour

  • NoRumors
    5:49 am on September 3rd, 2010 14

    The LPGA should publicize the facts as they know them, and dispell all the rumors. But, they don't want bad publicity, so they will remain silent, and let comments like these go on for a long time.

    I think its simple! "IF" they signed the scorecard knowing there was "any" question, it is an attempt of cheating!

    If a caddy squeals on a cheater, will they be frowned upon???????

  • Wondering
    10:49 pm on September 3rd, 2010 15

    Can an independent impartial person verify what time the players finished, signed cards, and admitted a mistake?

    Is there TV coverage of any/all activities from the green, scoring tent, and afterwards?

    Will the LPGA try to 'hush up' an embarassing situation because of heavy Korean sponsorship?

  • Wondering
    11:33 pm on September 3rd, 2010 16

    Do these players use the same brand of ball? Or, do they use different balls (ie: Titlest for one and Srixon for the other)? Could this be significant????

  • MK
    2:38 am on September 4th, 2010 17

    ahn never touched her ball until she picked it up after it went in the hole and finished. she chipped to within inches and tapped in. she never got to see her ball closely since the tee box. for the record, her caddie went to the the wrong ball several times that day. he did it again on the 18th hole, but this time, chung's caddie did not know about it and let chung play the wrong ball from the 18th fairway. they both played titleist pro v balls. it was just a honest mistake, but smich stirred up all this craziness. we as amateurs keeps our ball all the time, pros mostly have the caddies wiping and cleaning balls. they are more focused on the the task at hand rather than checking if they are playing the right ball. the caddie is somewhat responsible for that. even the caddie wasn't sure until the two players signed the score cards. when chung came out of the score tent, her caddie told chung. chung then went to the tour official. this was within a couple of minutes, not hours like smich writes. chung's caddie was interviewed by lpga and confirmed that he had made the mistake of telling her after she had already signed. ahn's caddie is not able to be reached since he knows that he pretty much caused the whole incident by going to the wrong ball troughout the day

  • guitard
    8:40 am on September 4th, 2010 18

    MK: Are your statements based on first-hand knowledge?

    If not – what is your source of information?

  • Wondering
    9:32 am on September 4th, 2010 19

    Another good discussion ruined by facts.

  • guitard
    4:13 pm on September 4th, 2010 20

    Wondering

    4:32 pm on September 4th, 2010

    Another good discussion ruined by facts.

    What facts?

  • Wondering
    5:26 am on September 7th, 2010 21

    The third caddy has been mentioned a couple of times in various web sites, bht I havn't seen any mention of his being questioned by the LPGA. Why Not???

  • someotherguy
    10:48 am on September 7th, 2010 22

    Oh please don't let something as irrelevant as facts spoil a good story.

  • Tom
    11:36 am on September 7th, 2010 23

    I just knew this was just another witch hunt. It's very obvious Americans don't want Korean players in their league because they win too many times, but don't have the guts to admit it. This would not have been brought up and it certainly would not have been a big issue if they were white or black faced players.

  • Tom Langley
    2:12 pm on September 7th, 2010 24

    With all the Korean-Americans in LA surely the LPGA could afford to hire a translator to see if the two Korean female players cheated. If I was a LPGA official I think that I would make a little trade. Michelle Wie to me is the hottest female golf player, I'd love to get one in the hole.

  • Orbit
    3:35 pm on September 7th, 2010 25

    MIchelle Wie is ugly. She looks like Choi Hee Seop.

  • Wondering
    9:03 pm on September 7th, 2010 26

    Our players speak English in overseas tournments. So they must be cheating. This babbel will go on until the LPGA makes an 'official' statement (that doesn't offend the Asian sponsers) of their findings. Go to another blog to make those remarks about Wie.

  • BirdyMan
    9:26 pm on September 7th, 2010 27

    2 Great Ideas:

    The Golf channel should do a special interview of all 3 caddies together. If advertised correctly, it would get a large audience, and sponsor dollars.

    Or, Congress should subpeona all involved and hold hearings. This would keep congressmen busy and lessen their screwing up the country.

  • Wondering
    6:39 am on September 8th, 2010 28

    Ask the caddy

    http://www.golfweek.com/news/2010/sep/03/caddie-w

  • Birdyman
    10:03 pm on September 9th, 2010 29

    The Caddys remarks are VERY interesting!!

  • Maliboothby
    7:49 am on September 1st, 2011 30

    MK, nobody is suggesting that they played the wrong ball on purpose.

    The point is that they realized the mistake before they signed their cards.
    They did not make any attempt to correct the mistake and they knowingly signed for a lower score.

    That is blatant disgusting cheating and they should have been suspended for at least a year.

 

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