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Yang has high hopes at Ballantine’s

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Published : 2012-04-24 18:10
Updated : 2012-04-24 20:16

Korea’s veteran golfer Yang Yong-eun is determined to find his form at this week’s Ballantine’s Championship after a sluggish start this season.

Yang, Asia’s first major champion, is back in Korea to prove his talent at the home event, which is scheduled from April 26-29 at the Blackstone Golf Club in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province.

“My condition is great, and I will work hard so that I can get better results compared to last year,” Yang said in a news conference at the golf club on Tuesday.
Korea’s Yang Yong-eun speaks during a press conference on Tuesday. (Yonhap News)

Yang is making his fourth appearance in the tournament. His best result at Korea’s biggest golf tournament was in 2008 when he finished tied at 43rd place. After missing the cut in the last two tournaments, he is hoping to make a strong impact this weekend.

“I have not had my best game. Whenever I come to the Ballantine’s Championship, I always have this renewed commitment that I will give my best,” he said.

Yang admitted on Tuesday that he now feels big pressure as he has not won a major title in the PGA Tour since his PGA Championship title in 2009.

“It is somewhat of a pressure because I have grown older and I really feel that it is high time to do my best and show my best,” he said.

Yang, 40, is expecting some tough challenges from fellow Koreans, such as Bae Sang-moon, currently the world No. 30 and No. 47 Kim Kyung-tae.

Speaking about the two young golfers, Yang said he believes they are capable of getting some good results.

“I’m sure that the Korean players will give their best so that a foreign player does not take home the winning trophy. We will this week give our best to win,” he added.

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.

Last year, Lee Westwood closed with a 67 to fend off Miguel Angel Jimenez by a single stroke. The world No.3 Westwood won’t be here this week to defend his title, but Jimenez is in the field along with his Ryder Cup teammate Ian Poulter and Open Champion Darren Clarke.

By Oh Kyu-wook (596story@heraldcorp.com)

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