It was a pretty good birthday this year for Danielle Kang, who turned 22 just a few days ago. But because of her travel schedule - flying into China for this week's Blue Bay LPGA - her birthday stretched and stretched and stretched.
“It was the longest birthday of my life actually," Danielle said. "We went on the plane and it was like a charter plane, so everybody is like 'happy birthday' on the plane. Then I went to sleep and then I woke up. And it was still my birthday. We drove in a car, got to the hotel and then I went to sleep and it was still my birthday and I woke up and I had a full day of birthday.”
But the biggest present for Danielle was still to come. It arrived on Thursday in the first round of the Blue Bay LPGA, a brand new event on the tour's schedule, played on Hainan Island, China.
Happy birthday, indeed!
"I was pretty pumped,” Kang told LPGA.com. “My caddie had to tell me to calm down."
The ace was part of a first-round 68 that left her two strokes off the lead.
Kang, it seems to me, is a player on the verge of a breakout on the LPGA Tour. She won back-to-back U.S. Women's Amateur Championships in 2010 and 2011, then turned pro at age 19.
As a rookie in 2012, she had a best finish of a tie for third, and in 2013 a best finish of a tie for fifth. With no LPGA wins yet, Danielle is flying a bit under the radar. But she's been nothing but solid throughout her brief pro career. She was 52nd on the money list as a rookie and 57th in 2013.
So far in 2014, Danielle has already tied her career high in cuts made (17), and is, again in the 50s on the money list. Her best finish so far is fifth place at the Canadian Open.