LPGA rookie Yealimi Noh hit with $10,000 slow-play fine at Kia Classic: ‘It’s hard to get over’

Beth Ann Nichols
·2 min read

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Yealimi Noh tied for 61st at the Kia Classic and took home a $4,247 paycheck. But she actually lost money on the week after a $10,000 slow-play fine.

Noh, 19, said a rules official showed up mid-way through the front nine and hung around for nine holes. She received bad times on Nos. 10 and 12.

“I can’t appeal because it’s obviously my fault,” said Noh as she walked to the 1st tee during a practice round at this week’s ANA Inspiration.

Noh received her first pace-of-play fine in her first event as a rookie in 2020, the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio where she tied for 35th.

“A couple rookies got fines,” said Noh. “Like OK, it’s a heads-up for us rookies to catch up or whatever.”

Because Noh received a pace-of-play fine in 2020, the fine doubled for 2021. If she has a clean slate in 2022, it will revert back to the original price of $2,500. (Because COVID-19 limited the number of events in 2020, the rookies from last year are still considered rookies this year.)

Noh, who is ranked 47th in the world, had a new caddie last week in Carlsbad, California, and said the she was taking extra time on her approach shots on Saturday because she didn’t hit the ball great in the second round. She forgot the official was even there.

It was especially difficult for the teenager to explain the lost wages to mom and dad.

“As much as I think about it’s a good learning experience,” said Noh, “obviously now I’m never going to do that again hopefully, which is good. It’s hard to get over; that’s a lot of money.”

The LPGA also handed out its first two-stroke penalty of 2020 to Robynn Ree for being out of position at least week’s Kia Classic. Ree missed the cut.