The funniest player in golf on risk-taking, Coach Prime and her $1 million payday

NAPLES, Fla. — Angel Yin is $1 million richer this week.

Thanks to her performance in the Aon Risk-Reward Challenge (a season-long LPGA points race based on performance on a specific hole each week), the 24-year-old is cashing a serious check before the CME Group Tour Championship here at Tiburon Golf Club.

In the men’s game, it’s easy to not think twice about a sum like that. With $20 million mega-purses, gaudy PIP funds and Saudi-funded guaranteed contracts, a million bucks doesn’t seem like that much for a pro golfer. Follow the LPGA Tour, though, and you’ll quickly be reminded that $1 million is still a hefty payday.

Consider this: $1 million in earnings this season would land you 23rd on the LPGA money list. The leading money winner, world No. 1 Lilia Vu, has collected $3.2 million, which would put her outside the top 50 on the PGA Tour. With the cool mil from Aon, Yin is adding a nice bonus to her $1.6 million she’s already made on the course this year.

Not that you’d know by talking to her. Despite a few extra zeroes in her bank account, Yin is the same as ever — eccentric, fun-loving and hysterically funny.

“Pay tax [and] don’t go to a white-collar jail,” Yin said of her plans for the money. “Don’t get arrested.”

The answer drew laughter from the assembled media members and other invited guests at her Tuesday press conference. But it wasn’t the only light-hearted moment during the presser — far from it.

Where to sit?

With two microphones at the table in the front of the room, Yin had two options for where to sit to accept her award — left or right? “Can I sit in the middle?” Yin asked.

Risky behavior

As the winner of an award based on calculating risk, one reporter asked if Yin took risks in other areas of life.

“I risk everything everyday,” Yin said.

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How so?

“This morning I showed up on time, but everyone thought I was late for my pro-am tee time,” she said. “That’s risking being DQ’d for one of the largest purses of the year.”

Thankfully, Yin made her starting time and later showed up to her press conference without any tardiness.

Thoughts on stats

There are plenty of stats that point to Yin’s dominance on risk-reward holes this season. For one, she’s got some serious length off the tee. Averaging over 260 yards per drive, she’s inside the top 50 on the LPGA in driving distance. She’s also among the top 10 on Tour in success rate when going for the green instead of laying up, and her average proximity to the hole was 13 feet, better than any of her peers. So, what were Yin’s thoughts on those number?

“Cool stats,” she deadpanned.

We take it that she’s not much of a number-cruncher when she’s on the course.

Thanking her “sponsor”

Despite being an LPGA winner and Solheim Cupper, Yin doesn’t have any sponsors. In the men’s game, it’s rare to see a player without logos plastered all over. In women’s golf, there are many players in the same boat as Yin.

“It’s tough when you have a bad stretch of a few years,” Yin said earlier this season. “Your bank [account] gets pretty dry.”

Thanks to a career year in 2023, her bank account isn’t hurting too badly these days. And Yin made sure to take time to thank her “sponsor” for that.

“I call it my little sponsorship for Angel,” Yin said. “Thank you, Aon.”

Shoutout to Coach Prime

At the Solheim Cup earlier this fall, Yin showed up to one of her media availabilities rocking huge sunglasses, a nod to Colorado football coach Deion Sanders. She even quoted Sanders, saying she and her Team USA teammates were “keeping receipts.”

At Tuesday’s press conference, Yin again gave a nod to Coach Prime. After finishing her formal availability, she was intercepted by an LPGA staffer who gave her a Sanders shirt.

“Can I take pictures with the trophy in this?” Yin asked.

She quickly pulled the shirt over her golf outfit, put on the shades and held the trophy high above her head.

If you’re keeping receipts at home, Yin is $1 million richer this week. But she’s still the same as she ever was — the funniest player in golf.

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