It’s been a whirlwind two years since Yealimi Noh nearly won the 2019 Cambia Portland Classic as an 18-year-old non-Member. Since earning her LPGA Tour Membership for 2020, Noh has managed the usual ups and downs of any rookie campaign, only further heightened by the pandemic that wreaked havoc in the last 18 months. It hasn’t been that long, but Noh says she’s a totally different golfer.
“I feel like I really grew over the past two years, especially being in contention a few more times after that year in 2019,” said Noh. “I just grew. I've been through a lot and it's made me a better person I think and definitely a better golfer I would like to say.”
Noh comes to Portland on a streak of five consecutive top-15 performances, including solo third at the Amundi Evian Championship. Two weeks ago, she represented the USA at the Solheim Cup, capitalizing on a captain’s pick with a 2-1-0 showing that included a 1-up win over European leader Mel Reid. As her extended rookie campaign starts to wind down, Noh says she’s learned as much from the difficulties of the last two years as she has from the successes.
“The beginning of the year was really stressful and difficult for me. I was struggling in my game and just figuring out what was wrong when I felt like everything was okay and was there,” said Noh, who pointed to a stretch of 10 consecutive weeks of play as a rookie mistake she’ll never make again. “Definitely got through that and made a little turn inside of the summer and Evian was just incredible. I was so happy to finish well there at one of my favorite spots.”