First Korean American Wins PGA Rookie of the Year

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Korean American golfer John Huh was named 2012 PGA Rookie of the Year on Monday, making him the first Korean American to win the honor.

Huh had been widely expected to receive the award after winning a Tour event after just five starts. The 22-year-old’s breakthrough performance at the Mayakoba Classic in Cancun, Mexico helped him edge out Robert Allenby in an eight-hole sudden death playoff — the second longest playoff in PGA Tour history.

“It’s a great honor to have this award especially as a Korean,” Huh said, according to PGATour.com. “It’s really hard to explain just how I feel right now.”

Huh also attributed his success to pioneering Korean golfers from the past, such as K.J. Choi and Y.E. Yang.

“I really felt like they opened the path for us,” Huh said. “I’m really thankful to all of the guys on the Tour, and especially the Korean players.”