By Yoo Jee-ho
SEOUL, Dec. 23 (Yonhap) -- Former MVP-winning pitcher Yoon Suk-min will now be chasing smaller white balls on golf courses, with the backing of a local food company.
Jeong Food Korea, a Seoul-based canned food manufacturer, said Wednesday it will be sponsoring Yoon's effort to qualify for the second-tier tour in the Korea Professional Golfers' Association (KPGA).
"We were inspired by Yoon Suk-min's drive to take on a new challenge," the company said in a statement. "We'll help him become a successful golfer."
Yoon, 34, retired from the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) in December last year after struggling to bounce back from a shoulder injury. He made his KBO debut with the Kia Tigers in 2005 and spent his entire Korean career with the club, interrupted by a season in Triple-A in the Baltimore Orioles' system in 2014.
The right-hander was voted the regular season MVP in 2011, after winning the pitching Triple Crown with 17 wins, a 2.45 ERA and 178 strikeouts in 172 1/3 innings.
Yoon split his time in the starting rotation and in the bullpen, and compiled a 77-75 record with 86 saves and a 3.29 ERA in 398 games. He missed the entire 2017 season after a shoulder surgery, and pitched in his last KBO game in October 2018.
Yoon was a recreational golfer during his baseball career and turned up his intensity after leaving the mound.
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