Angel Yin currently leads the Aon Risk Reward Challenge, and if she holds on, will earn a $1 million bonus on top of $1,617,216 she’s made on tour this season. That’s without any money made at the no-cut, season-ending CME Group Tour Championship, which boasts a $7 million purse and $2 million winner’s check.
It’s quite the turnaround for a player who, earlier this season, considered writing tournaments on the tour’s spring Asian swing to ask for a sponsor exemption to get an infusion of cash.
Yin ultimately decided against it, thinking it might be good to play a lighter schedule to be more refreshed for CME, but the money situation is striking for a Solheim Cup player who hasn’t had a personal sponsor in four years.
“It’s tough when you have a bad stretch of a few years,” said Yin. “Your bank gets pretty dry.”
Yin, 25, isn’t bitter about the lack of sponsors, however, saying that she’s had a change of heart about the situation in recent months.
“I don’t think I’m as desperate as I used to be,” said Yin. “I used to be really desperate. Now I’m not as desperate. I think throughout this journey of not being sponsored, I think it really helped me learn my own value as a person in life.”
The sponsor situation doesn’t surprise LPGA and World Golf Hall of Famer Juli Inkster, who Yin said became like a second mom to her after she played on Inkster’s 2017 Solheim Cup team. While sponsor money might be increasing for those at the top of the game, Inkster still doesn’t see it filtering down ranks.
“I think a lot of these companies don’t value women’s golf to sell product,” said Inkster, “and I think they’re missing the boat.”
Even Yin’s signature headwear, the G/Fore hat with HACI stretched out like a giant billboard on top of her head, came from the pro shop at her home course, Hacienda Golf Club. Yin said G4 started sending her hats because the club’s pro shop couldn’t carry enough. Members like it, she said, because they can easily spot her.
“Exactly, see, it’s in your face,” she said. “You can spot it a mile away. Cameras are not always that close to you, and when you have a small logo, the…