Asia’s first major champion Yang Yong-eun, world No. 8 Adam Scott and 2011 Open Championship winner Darren Clarke are set to clash in Korea in the country’s biggest golf tournament later this month.
Marking its fifth year, the 2012 Ballantine’s Championship will be held at Blackstone Golf Club, Icheon, April 26 to 29.
Also joining the lineup will be last year’s runner-up Miguel Angel Jimenez and his Ryder Cup teammate, Ian Poulter. The two have won an impressive 29 European Tour titles between them.
|World No. 30 Bae Sang-moon (Ballantine’s Championship)|
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to Korea. It’s been a long time since I played in Korea. I think 2002 was my last visit, so it is certainly time for me to go back,” Scott said.
Yang is making his fourth appearance in the tournament. Yang made history at the 2009 U.S. PGA Championship when he became Asia’s first major champion.
Despite having a down season this year, the 40-year-old is expected to receive a warm welcome.
Joining Yang will be Bae Sang-moon, currently the world No. 30, and No. 47 Kim Kyung-tae. The return of the 26-year-old Bae, who is having a successful debut season on the PGA Tour, should excite fans.
The Ballantine’s Championship, established in 2007, is co-organized by the European Tour, the Korean PGA and the Asian Tour.
It was the first European Tour event staged in Korea. The prize money in the first year was 2 million euros ($2.6 million). This year, it is more than 2.2 million euros ($2.9 million).
“The Ballantine’s Championship has truly established itself as one of Asia’s biggest golf tournaments by continuing to attract the world’s best players. We are delighted to support this prestigious event as part of our long-term investment in world-class golf,” said Christian Porta, the CEO of the title sponsor Chivas Brothers.
By Oh Kyu-wook (email@example.com