Su Oh’s transformation from pedestrian 2015 to special 2016 is both surprising and expected at the time. Oh was always billed as a rising star from Australia along with Minjee Lee. In 2014, as an 18-year-old, she was expected to come over to the U.S. and get through Qualifying Tournament. While Lee was a co-medalist, life threw Oh a twist. She finished T70 and did not earn any LPGA status.
So, she played the Symetra Tour in 2015 and certainly showed flashes of brilliance. There was the T3 finish at the Symetra Tour Championship and the T8 at the IOA Golf Classic. That being said, there were also struggles – five missed cuts in 12 total starts. Oh finished the Symetra Tour season at No. 48 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.
“Last year really wasn’t easy,” said an honest Oh, who is played last week in the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples. “It was my first year on Tour, playing week-to-week in a foreign country, but I also learned a lot about myself and my game. I learned a lot from being out on the Symetra Tour last year and although it was hard, it was a great experience.”
Following the 2015 season, Oh had to do a lot of self-evaluation to figure out where the shortcomings were in her game.
“I thought about it and worked really hard on my game and got my mind and body in a good state,” said Oh. “In March, I found my new coach, Cameron McCormick, and he showed me a clear path to get better."
The path was not without a few traffic stops. Oh earned just partial status through 2015 Qualifying Tournament and had to seize the day when the starts came.
“I got into the Australian Open from my ALPG status and I Monday qualified for the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic and thankfully I made the most out of the small opportunities,” said Oh. “It has been an unbelievable year. At the beginning, my only goal was to have a full card for 2017, but I finished top 50 which means I get into the Asian swing.”
She ranks 46th on the money list and easily qualified for the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples. Oh has two top ten finishes and seven top top 20 results. The highlight of her year was a solo second place finish at the Kingsmill Championship Presented by JTBC. The icing on the cake was getting to represent Australia at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
“I think my game feels a lot more solid,” said Oh on Wednesday before the final event of the year. “My short game has gotten a lot better especially around the greens and lag putting.”
Oh said that she has improved off the course as well. She pointed out areas like her conditioning, time management and practice management as major improvements.
“Overall, my 2016 season on the LPGA has been amazing,” said Oh. "I feel lucky to have made some great friends on the Symetra (Tour) and the LPGA and just lucky to be able to do something I love as a job.”
If she improved this much in one year, 2017 could be really special.