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Jun. 27—Fame and fortune are enough to satisfy most professional golfers after a tournament victory.
Danielle Kang is not most professional golfers.
The peppy California girl is equal parts nonchalant and intense, a brew of cheery desire that's made her one of the best players on the LPGA Tour. She's a major champion and Solheim Cup stalwart who's been ranked inside the top 10 of the world rankings since 2019.
Yet a street that bears her name may have elicited the most outward response from Kang.
"I've always wanted to have a street named after me, and the Marathon Classic made that dream come true," she said. "I don't have any other streets named after me. You have to be a really big shot to have streets named after you."
Or, as Kang mentioned, you can win the Marathon LPGA Classic presented by Dana. A section of Monroe Street is renamed after the winner of each year's tournament, creating a unique memory for the champion.
And, in 2020, the caddie. Olly Brett, who loops for Kang, has his name on Monroe Street as well after some haggling by his player.
"I'm thankful to [Marathon Classic tournament director] Judd [Silverman] and everyone to agree to put my caddie's name on it," Kang said. "It was very important to me. I know I was being a little bit of a brat about it and being persistent, but he's my teammate. He was out there with me. We won it together.
"When we win, I get the trophy. He gets the 18th hole flag. He gets a percentage of the money. Everything is just cut and dry. With something as cool as the perk of having a street named after me, I really wanted his name on there and to experience what it's like to accomplish something that a lot of people can't say they've done in their lifetime. I hope when he's old and sitting in a rocking chair he can say, 'I remember when I had my name on a street.'"
Kang and Brett took Toledo by storm last summer, as they were victorious at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Inverness the week prior to the Marathon Classic. The trophy went to Kang's mom, the recipient of each piece of hardware. Golf, perhaps more than any sport, offers up distinctive prizes.
A hole-in-one by Kang resulted in a new car. After finishing second in the BMW Classic, she struck up a relationship with the luxury carmaker and now has a garage full of BMWs.
"When you win, sometimes you get a phone call from a really cool person or things that you never dreamed of as opportunities arise," Kang said.
An award Kang is seeking this summer that would surpass her street sign is a gold medal. As it stands today, she would be one of four golfers representing the United States at the Tokyo Olympics.
"The Olympics are something that I've dreamed of my whole life," Kang said. "I can't even put it into words."
The Olympics is part of a jam-packed summer schedule that includes three majors, the Marathon Classic, and the Solheim Cup. If the U.S. wins at Inverness, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz might be getting a phone call from Kang about renaming Dorr Street.
"Solheim Cup is something that you want to compete in," Kang said. "Anytime you get to represent your country is an honor. I'm really excited to compete in Ohio because everybody is such a fan there. You know when you go to certain cities that they're all about sports. I'm really excited to see all the people come out. I know there's going to be a lot of USA fans out there."