Photo - Asian Tour
NOH PASSES OPENING TEST AT WGC-HSBC CHAMPIONS
Shanghai: Korean teen titan Noh Seung-yul passed his opening round test with flying colours when he carded a sublime five-under-par 67 to take a share of third place alongside Japan’s Yuta Ikeda and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson at the WGC-HSBC Champions on Thursday.
Noh also underlined his credentials as one of the rising stars of the game by going one-up against the tournament’s marquee names that include American Tiger Woods (tied-sixth), defending champion Phil Mickelson (tied-ninth) and fellow teen wonders Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa (tied-35th) and Matteo Manassero of Italy (tied-23rd).
The 19-year-old showed composure beyond his years when got off strongly in his outward-nine with three birdies on holes 14, 16 and 18 to reach the turn in 33 at the Sheshan International Golf Club.
He continued his charge with another birdie on the par-four first and added another on the third hole before reaching home comfortably in 33 in his inward-nine.
“I did not make any mistakes today and I’m happy with the five birdies that I made,” said Noh.
“Even though I missed lots of the greens especially in my front-nine, I still managed to make pars on many of the holes today,” added the teenager.
Noh who is widely tipped to become the Asian Tour’s youngest Order of Merit champion this season is not giving himself any pressure over the next three rounds as he views his week in Shanghai as a fun one.
“I’ve played in three Majors so far and this field is as good as any Majors that I’ve played in. It’s a learning experience for me but also a fun one as I get to compete with the best golfers in the world,” said Noh.
Noh made his Major debut by playing in all four rounds at the US Open in June and finished tied 28th at the PGA Championship. He also qualified for the British Open at St Andrews this year.
The Korean knows that expectations of him to perform well are high and he intends to meet them by enjoying himself again like what he had done today.
“I’ll just go out there, play my game and most importantly, enjoy myself again,” said Noh.
Asian Tour GolfGreedy.com