International Junior Golf Academy alumna and Director of Fitness Rika Park has passed a milestone in her young pro golf career: last week she earned her first paycheck as a professional golfer! Park tied for 15th in the National Women’s Golf Association tournament at Timacuan Golf Club.
Faced with difficult playing conditions in the first two rounds, Park shot 78-77 to remain competitive. “Strong winds, cold temperatures and fast greens made for tough playing conditions the first two days,” Park said. “I struggled judging the wind and green speed, but was able to get a few birdies, which made my rounds okay.”
Park took advantage of nicer conditions in the final round carding three consecutive birdies on holes No. 13-15 to finish with a 1-under 71.
A native of Japan, Park came to the United States when she was 14 years old. She trained at IJGA for four-and-a-half years before heading further south to play NCAA Division I golf at the University of Miami. A 2015 graduate, Park majored in Exercise Physiology and minored in Sports Medicine.
She had a very successful junior career and was named IJGT Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009.
Park will travel to Japan in April to take the JLPGA professional test and intends to attend Q-School this summer. “I’m nervous but very excited to see what I can do there,” Park said.