Freshman golf sensation Bohyun Park breaks records, stays humble through it all

Ana Sofia Meyer, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the November 2 flipbook.

After getting off work, math teacher Ryan Sisak jumped into his car and sped home with only one thing on his mind: his student and prodigious golfer Bohyun Park was playing on TV. 

As he came through the door, he was surprised to see his daughters looking up at him with eager grins in front of the screen.

“Daddy, Daddy! We saw Bo! She was amazing,” the two girls said. “We want to play golf! We want to be just like Bo!”

Since before she could remember, Bohyun “Bo” Park looked up to golfers like Sung Hyun Park and Lydia Ko with the same enthusiasm. Now, at 19, the freshman Texas golfer inspires others in the same way her idols inspired her.

On May 3, Park accomplished one of her biggest goals: qualifying for the U.S. Open, the biggest LPGA tour event of the year. Her qualification meant she would compete alongside two of her idols, Park and Ko. 

Despite getting cut after the second round, Park said she cherished her experience at the tournament, one she called “completely different” than any other, because of the opportunity to play alongside the two former world No. 1 players.

“My favorite golfer, Sung Hyun Park was there … It was really cool to play on the same course as her,” Park said. “I got to see (Lydia Ko) during lunch and I went up to her. I wasn’t sure if she’d remember who I was, but she did.”

Park first encountered Ko when she and her father moved to New Zealand in 2011 to pursue better training. Ko practiced at the same club and with the same trainer, Guy Wilson, and Park approached the youngest player ever to be ranked No. 1 to be a practice partner. 

“In New Zealand, we got really lucky,” Park said. “(Working with Ko) really helped me a lot.”

After five years, the Parks moved to Farmers Branch. There, Park attended Carrollton Ranchview High School where she joined the golf team and quickly became known for her talents. 

“From my first year here, she was already a big thing,” said Sisak, who taught at Ranchview. “She had a tremendous freshman year, and I remember seeing papers plastered around campus talking about her going to state and winning. Being someone who loves golf, I was starstruck by her athleticism, her success on the golf course.”

Throughout high school, Park breezed past the competition and qualified for the UIL state tournament every year she competed. As a freshman, she shot a 137, finishing seven strokes under par, and beat the record for all-time lowest score, previously set at 146, two strokes over par.

At this point, Park had landed on the radar of most Division I coaches throughout the country. Texas head coach Ryan Murphy said Park had already impressed his staff when she was in ninth grade.

“I remember watching her win one of her state championships, and she shot some really low scores,” Murphy said. “I remember thinking, ‘That was a lot of birdies she just made.’ To do that in front of the coach at Texas, I was a little bit in shock.”

That year Park played incredibly: she shattered her own record with a total score of 126, 16 strokes under par, and set the new all-time lowest score in UIL history. The previous record, 12  under par, was set by none other than Texas alum and Masters-winner Jordan Speith. 

As a senior, Park played the state championship for her third and last time, winning with rounds of 67 and 65. Three weeks later, she graduated high school and moved onto the Open. 

Now, Park is three tournaments into her freshman season as a Longhorn and continues to show nothing but promise. In the first two tournaments, she led her team with 10th and 3rd place finishes. In the Stanford Intercollegiate tournament, Park struggled in the first round, but rebounded in the second round with a hole-in-one to finish at 41st. 

Park has stayed humble throughout all her success. Regardless, the freshman said she has a greater goal: inspiring others.

“Whenever I play pro golf or after I retire, I want to be remembered as someone who not only played golf, but as someone who inspired and motivated people by staying humble and doing me.”