NAPLES, Florida — Angel Yin took a more conservative approach to the season and won big. In addition to claiming her first LPGA title in 159 starts, she won $1 million for clinching the season-long Aon Risk Reward Challenge. Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul finished second
When Aon introduced the challenge in 2019, the $1 million prize became the largest single monetary prize on the LPGA. The payout is the same on the PGA Tour, where Tyrrell Hatton won.
Yin, 25, said that in previous years she’d come to a reachable hole and automatically want to go for it. This year, however, the power player has learned to embrace her wedge play.
“When you overlook the small things, it doesn’t benefit you,” said Yin. “So what I started doing is I started looking at the small things and cherishing it more and accumulating that more, and I think that’s what really helped.
“(In) Cincinnati I made an eagle. That was huge, but it wasn’t really planned for. It was really lucky. If you really think about it, eagles are (made) with a lot of luck. Birdies are more calculated. If I can just put all my money on my birdies, I can get my return.”
At the Solheim Cup in Spain, the always entertaining Yin wore sunglasses to a Team USA press conference in a nod to Deion Sanders. The LPGA marketing team presented Yin with Sanders T-shirt after her Wednesday press conference in Naples.
For Yin, who has played the past four seasons without a personal sponsor, this money gives her the ability to help others who might find themselves in similar financial situations in other business endeavors.
“I’m very blessed with a lot of people in my life that have been a lot of support,” said Yin, “but let’s just say on the financial side or other support hasn’t been as great. I feel like if I have the ability to do that, I want to be able to reach out.
“Because money makes things go around, and as much as we don’t want to talk about it, it can bring a lot of things in life and create a lot more opportunities. … We’re here for a long time, and I want to find out what my passions are in life. I want to be able to help people that haven’t been helped out.”
Angel Yin of the United States speaks with the media after winning the 2023 AON Risk Reward Challenge at Tiburon Golf Club on November 14, 2023 in Naples, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
After coming up short against Lilia Vu in a playoff at the Chevron earlier this season, Yin went head-to-head again against the current World No. 1 at the Buick LPGA Shanghai last month and came out on top.