Seoul: Korea’s Y.E Yang believes that success will follow him at this week’s Ballantine’s Championship after suffering a series of mishaps recently.
The Korean, who was competing in China last week, missed the weekend cut and was involved in a minor car accident on his way to the airport. Yang had to endure further frustrations when he missed his connecting flight to Seoul after a flight delay in Shanghai.
However, all that is behind the 39-year-old Korean now as he received welcome news upon his return home.
Yang inked a new sponsorship agreement with KB Star Bank, one of Korea’s leading banks and he wants to repay their faith in him with a win at the €2.2 million (approximately US$2.8 million) Ballantine’s Championship this week.
“I had to deal with many flight issues this year and it had to happen again last week. I was also involved in a very minor car accident on my way here. However, this week has started off very well. I just signed a new sponsorship deal with KB Star Bank and hopefully this is a sign of better things to come,” said Yang.
A star-studded field that includes some of the world’s biggest stars such as world number one Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter of England, South Africa’s Ernis Els and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee will challenge for top honours and Yang knows that the best reward for his fans will be a home win.
“My message to my Korean fans is this. I don't play that often in Korea. I come maybe every six months, in spring and fall and I think the best way to reward them is a win. I always try to do my best whenever I compete and I’ll do the same again this week,” said the Asian Tour honorary member who has a huge fan base in Korea, having made a name for himself by becoming the first Asian-born player to win a Major and achieving much success aboard.
Yang acknowledges that while the Ballantine’s Championship is staged in Korea, it will be a level playing field for all as the majority of the field are playing at the Blackstone Golf Club for the first time.
“I don't think Korean players will necessarily have an advantage, because nobody is really that familiar with this golf course. I understand that a few Korean players may have played here once or twice but I don't think that they have a particular advantage,” said Yang.
“Instead, I think players who have been around the world, who have been to various golf courses, who have a lot of experience, might have an advantage,” added Yang, who will be making his third appearance at the Ballantine’s Championship.
Meanwhile Westwood who returned to the summit of the game following his victory at the Indonesian Masters last week, is determined to make his stay at the top a long one with another win.
The English ace will be the first current world number one to play in Korea and he wants to live up to his stature as the world’s best golfer.
“It’s nice to get back to number one on Sunday. I played well last week and my confidence is high,” said Westwood.
“I’ve great expectations of myself and I hope to do well and win this championship on Sunday afternoon,” added the world number one.
The 2011 Ballantine’s Championship will once again be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Korea PGA from April 28- May 1.
Photo - Asian Tour
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