Christina Kim won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour title in nine years, beating Shanshan Feng in a playoff after losing a five-stroke lead. Christina said that this was the “The greatest win in my life, without a doubt,” But those who have followed her career can point to 2010 to see it differently. That was when Christina started on a decline that she felt would only end drastically.
That year, as a result of freak back injury sustained during a massage at an LPGA tour stop, she struggled to play without pain and to regain her swing and effortless power that were her signature. No matter how hard she trained and worked on her game, her distance never returned.
When she was faced with having to attend Q-school to qualify for tournaments that had always been a given for her, she began a steady decline into depression. She came close to ending her life in 2011 at a tournament in Spain where she and Brittany Linicicome were representing the U.S. The only thing that stopped her was that she didn’t want her mother and friends to be stranded without a ride home because she had the keys to the car!
With the help of medication and support of family and friends, Christina has pulled herself up out of the depths and the result is her marathon win this past weekend. So, no, that win in Mexico was not the greatest in her life. Not giving in to depression was her biggest victory! We salute you, Christina!