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LPGA star Park In-bee nominated for U.S. foundation award

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- South Korean golfer Park In-bee has been shortlisted for an annual award for female athletes presented by a U.S.-based charity organization.

Park, the world's No. 1-ranked female golfer, is among the eight finalists for the Sportswoman of the Year honors in the individual sport category, awarded by the Women's Sports Foundation (WSF), the organization announced on its website.

The annual award, determined by the WSF's Awards Committee and on-line voting, is based on athletes' accomplishments in a 12-month period from August 13, 2012 to July 31, 2013.

In that stretch, Park won seven LPGA Tour events, including the first three major championships of 2013. She won the LPGA Tour money title and posted the best scoring average in 2012, and was the leader in money and the Player of the Year points at the end of July of this year.

She has been ranked No. 1 since April 15.

The WSF has been recognizing top female athletes since 1993, and figure skater Kim Yu-na remains the only South Korean winner. She was honored in 2010 after winning the Olympic gold medal in Vancouver in record-setting fashion.

Among the nominees this year is the U.S. swimmer Missy Franklin, who won six gold medals, the most by a female swimmer, at the recently concluded world championships in Barcelona. Three of her six titles came after July 31.

Also up for the award is the American tennis star Serena Williams. The world's No. 1-ranked player won the U.S. Open in August last year and the French Open in May this year.

Other candidates are: U.S. snowboarder Kelly Clark, Slovenian alpine skier Tina Maze, U.S. Paralympic wheelchair athlete Tatyana McFadden, U.S. pole vaulter Jenn Suhr and Japanese figure skater Mao Asada.

The winner will be announced on Oct. 16 at the WSF's annual gala in New York City.

The WSF was founded in 1974 by the tennis star Billie Jean King. Its stated mission is to "advance the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity."

Previous winners include figure skater Michelle Kwan, speed skater Bonnie Blair and golfer Annika Sorenstam.

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