Photo - Asian Tour
TOP ASIAN TOUR DUO TURN ATTENTION TO BALLANTINE’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Jeju Island, Korea: Australian stalwart Andrew Dodt and Korea’s teen sensation Noh Seung-yul are determined to continue their sparkling form at the Ballantine’s Championship in Korea next week.
Dodt, winner of the Avantha Masters in India, will reprise his role as the Asian Tour Order of Merit leader followed by second placed Noh, who emerged victorious at the Maybank Malaysian Open last month.
The duo will contend against a strong line-up in the third edition of the Asian Tour and European Tour co-sanctioned event where Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand will defend his title in the €2.2 (US$2.9 million) at the Pinx Golf Club from April 22 to 25.
Dodt, who finished tied third in the Air Bagan Myanmar Open last week, is upbeat of maintaining his impressive form this season on the honeymoon island of Jeju.
“More people look at my results now but I don’t do anything differently. I keep doing the same routines and let the results talk. I just need to keep doing what I have been doing last year and it should work fine,” said Dodt, who leads the Order of Merit on US$376,737.
Dodt, 24, believes that a three-week rest following his victory in India will put him in good stead in the Ballantine’s Championship, which was inaugurated in 2008.
“It was good to have that break and recharge batteries and go again. I’m feeling hungry for more success and that’s a good feeling to have,” said Dodt who was highly regarded as an amateur.
Playing in his first Asian Tour tournament since his memorable victory over compatriot K.J. Choi in March, Noh will be gearing up to challenge for more honours on home soil.
“The thing about competing on the Asian Tour is that I have had the opportunity to play against really good players. I believe I have become a better player now than I was two years ago when I first joined the Asian Tour,” said the 18-year-old Noh.
The Asian Tour Rookie of the Year in 2008 said that his win over his idol, Choi, has given him the confidence to achieve more success.
“He has given me a lot of good advice and that relationship has given me a lot of confidence to play on the bigger stage,” added the Korean, who started hitting golf balls at the beach near his house when he was seven.
A strong cast are expected to converge at the Ballantine’s Championship which include Asia’s first Major champion Y.E. Yang of Korea, three-time Major winner Ernie Els of South Africa and Korean-American Anthony Kim who finished third at the Masters.