History was written on Sunday, June 25, when 20-year-old Ruoning Yin won the women’s PGA Championship 2023.
It was a monumental achievement for the young golfer who claimed her first major title and became only the second Chinese woman golf player ever to win a major.
Ruoning Yin Celebrates Her First Major Title
Ruoning Yin used to want to play basketball, and had she been a bit taller, Ruoning would’ve probably ended up on basketball courts rather than with a golf club in her hands. But perhaps it was better that Ruoning choose another career path, as it was confirmed on Sunday on Baltusrol Lower Course when the 20-year-old carved her name in the history books.
That's MAJOR CHAMPION Ruoning Yin 🏆 pic.twitter.com/yhaC78BZJE— LPGA (@LPGA) June 26, 2023
Ruoning Yin, who entered the Women’s PGA Championship as one of the outsiders, defied all the odds and claimed the coveted trophy. With that, she joined Shanshan Feng as the only Chinese player to win a major championship.
As she stood on the 17th tee at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with a one-shot lead, Ruoning watched Yuka Saso birdie the final hole, creating an excellent opportunity to claim the title, as she needed a birdie to win the title.
“I actually kind of felt that I was going to make it, and I made it. It’s a very weird feeling,” said Ruoning.
Ruonino, who shot 67 at Baltusrol’s Lower Course, wasn’t even playing golf when her compatriot, Feng, became the first Chinese player to win a championship in 2011. At the time, known as the 2012 Wegmans Championship – the tournament was since renamed to KPMG Women’s PGA.
Yin’s Second Tournament Win
Ruoning Yin started playing golf at just ten and a half years of age and, at 16, represented the Chinese’s women national team at the 2018 Asian Games, where Yin placed third along with Dun Mohan and Liu Wenbo.
As a junior amateur, Ruoning won nine titles in 2019, including the National Amateur Championship and reached no.64 in the World Amateur Gold Rankings.
It wasn’t until 2020 that Ruoning turned professional and joined the China LPGA Tour after winning the China LPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament. At the time, 18 years old Ruoning didn’t need long to make a name for herself and won her first three events in a row, also earning her spot in the Guinness World Records with the most consecutive wins on the China LPGA Tour from a professional debut and the most consecutive wins on the China LPGA Tour.
Ruoning eventually reached the LPGA Tour in 2022 by placing fourth in the PLGA Q-Series but hasn’t had a good start, making just two cuts in her first nine starts. However, she ended the season by making the cut in 16 events and secured her season-best result at Dana Open (T4).
The rocky start to her career in the LPGA Tour now reached its peak as Ruoning won the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with -8, ahead of Yuka Saso, Megan Khang, Stephanie Meadow, and Anna Nordqvist.
What’s Next On The Women’s LPGA Tour?
After a one-week break, Ruoning Yin will return to action at Pebble Beach for the U.S. Women’s Open. The tournament will mark the first time women’s major will be contested on the iconic track, thus promising an exciting event.
Ruoning played at Pebble Beach just once, when she was 12 years old, during a winter golf camp, but as stated, she doesn’t remember much besides that it was a thick course and that she shot 88. Nevertheless, the U.S. Women’s Open will present Ruoning with a chance to double her major tally and get one step closer to former no.1 Feng, and her 10 LPGA titles.