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Hot-shot amateur golfer turns pro, signs lucrative endorsement deal

All Headlines 15:05 August 28, 2017

SEOUL, Aug. 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korean teen golfer Choi Hye-jin signed a lucrative endorsement deal Monday, just days after turning professional.

Choi, runner-up at the U.S. Women's Open last month, signed a two-year deal with Lotte Group. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Choi reportedly signed for the biggest contract ever handed to a rookie by a Korean conglomerate.

Choi is also expected to receive performance-based incentives, depending on her positions in the world rankings and money list, and her showing at major championships.

Choi turned 18 last Wednesday and turned pro the following day. In her final tournament as an amateur on Aug. 20, Choi won the Bogner MBN Ladies Open on the Korea LPGA (KLPGA) Tour, becoming the first amateur in 18 years to win twice in South Korea in one season.

Lotte said it had been interested in signing Choi over the past three years and pledged full support for the duration of its contract.

Choi will make her professional debut at this week's KLPGA event, the Hanwha Finance Classic.

"It still hasn't hit me that I am now a professional golfer," Choi said. "I've learned so much by playing professional events over the past couple of years, and I'd like to return people's love and support with strong play."

After this week, Choi will fly to France to compete in the LPGA season's final major, the Evian Championships, starting Sept. 14.

In this photo provided by the Korea LPGA Tour, Choi Hye-jin celebrates her victory at the Bogner MBN Ladies Open at the Star Hue Country Club in Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi Province, on Aug. 20, 2017. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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