Koreans represented at the Masters with a strong showing from Anthony Kim, KJ Choi and YE Yang. Anthony Kim came in 3rd place after a huge final day with 6 birdies and an eagle, posting a -12 before the final groups arrived. KJ Choi was partnered up with Tiger Woods for 4 straight days at the Masters and ended up with the same exact score with Tiger, for all four days. What are the chances?! KJ actually lead the tournament briefly in the middle of the round, but on hole #13 he fell apart with the first bogey of the day. YE Yang hung in there as he was partnered with Anthony Kim during the final round. KJ came in tied for 4th with Tiger Woods and YE Yang tied for 8th. That’s three Koreans in the top ten at the 2010 Masters! One of these days, one of these guys is going to break through and the champion’s dinner is going to have Korean bbq and kimchi. That’s going to be one big dry cleaning bill for all those green jackets.
Yeah we know that Tiger Woods is playing at the Masters but did you know there are over 90 other players who are showing up to win the green jacket? And btw, this year has the most number of Koreans participating at the Masters. Represent! We’ve got Anthony Kim who is fresh off his PGA tour win at the Shell Houston Open. There’s 2009 PGA Champion Y.E. Yang, the first man to ever stare down Tiger on the final day and surpass him to win a major. K.J. Choi will be paired up with Tiger Woods in the first round of the Masters, the group that will be most closely watched. But it doesn’t stop there because Yang Yong-Eun of the Asia Tour, US Amateur Winner An Byeong-Hun, and Asian Amateur champion Han Chang-won, are the next generation of Korean golfers that will be competing. That’s a whole lot of Koreans, young and old, who will be competing for the greatest green blazer. Hwaiting!
Y.E. Yang made a big splash this year by doing the impossible and that was take down Tiger Woods (when Tiger wasn’t with a lady of the night). When we mean the impossible, we’re referring to his unbelievable defeat of Tiger Woods at a major golf championship: The PGA Championship at Hazeltine. To put this into perspective, Tiger Woods had never lost a major championship when leading in the final round of a major golf tournament. However, it was Y.E. Yang of all Korean golfers (Anthony Kim, K.J. Choi) that stared down the greatest golfer of our generation and maybe of all time, and executed one of the greatest shots on the final hole (72nd) of a major golf championship. He perfectly landed a hybrid shot that set up the birdie to bring down the hammer on Tiger Woods on the 18th hole. No one east of Hawai’i would have predicted that Y.E. Yang would be the first Korean golfer to win a major golf tournament and no one in their right mind would have bet on Y.E. Yang beating Tiger head to head in the final group of a golf major. Y.E. Yang is #7 on our top ten list of most influential Korean-Americans because he not only broke through to victory on one of golf’s biggest stage, but he showed the whole world that Tiger was beatable and that you could go toe to toe with the greatest golfer in the world. And now the rest of the golf world knows that you can beat Tiger (on the golf course ;). He made believers out of everyone!
The President’s Cup starts today in San Francisco as all eyes in the golf world converge on this bi-annual team golf event. It’s a team of American golfers against foreign golfers who are not citizens of Europe. The Euros have their Ryder Cup which happens during the off years. The President’s Cup will feature two Koreans: Anthony Kim on the U.S. team and Y.E. Yang on the Internationals. It’s pretty cool that we there’s someone of Korean descent on both sides competing and representing.
Anthony Kim made a big statement last year at the Ryder Cup when he stared down everyone he went up against and took them down like a Tiger hunting for food in the wilderness. It stamped off a remarkable year when he won two PGA tournaments during 2008.
Y.E. Yang is making his first appearance on the International team. Usually the Korean that represented on the International team was K.J. Choi, but the most successful Korean golfer this year was Y.E. Yang. He stared down Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship and beat him on an extraordinary hybrid shot on the 18th hole that would give him the Wanamaker trophy.
It could get interesting if Y.E. Yang is matched up against A.K. That would be a cool dual between the Korean and the Korean-American. However, what people want is a rematch of the PGA Championship between Tiger Woods and Y.E. Yang and you know everyone wants to see that!
Great to see the success of Korean golfers on the PGA Tour.
According to ESPN.COM this week, PGA Champion Y.E. Yang and Tiger Woods could face each other again at the HSBC Champions Tournament taking place in Shanghai this November. The question is whether Tiger is going to be look forward to a rematch or if “home court” advantage could mean that Y.E. Yang beats Tiger for the 3rd time! What do you all think?
How big was Y.E. Yang’s triumph over Tiger Woods yesterday? According to CNN/SI (Sports Illustrated), it may be the biggest golf upset of all time because Y.E. Yang came from 2 strokes behind in a major against a man who was already being crowned his 15th major championship on Saturday evening by the press because he never ever loses when entering the final day with a lead. Not only did he go toe to toe with Tiger, he did with shots that usually come from Tiger Woods, and Y.E. Yang’s 3-hybrid shot to the final hole was the biggest exclamation point. It also was big because the PGA Tour submitted their application for golf to be considered for the 2016 Summer Olympics, and Y.E. Yang’s win couldn’t have come at a better time because he became the first Asian-born player to win a major championship, further demonstrating the globalization of golf. Golf was big in Japan and Korea, and we know of the dominance of Korean women on the LPGA Tour. Well this win by Y.E. Yang will only bring more Asian’s into the fold. It was a big win, much bigger than we think. Congrats Y.E. Yang!
From Ty Vatow, PGA Tour Executive: If what you mean is that there won’t be 46 South Koreans playing on the PGA Tour in 11 years time, you may be right, but Yang’s win (along with the potential Olympic spot in 2016) could have a significant impact in other ways — investment in the development of the game, junior golf and overall interest in golf. No one sitting here tonight can predict exactly what that impact will be, but as my father used to say, “It is better than a sharp stick in the eye.”
Hard to believe but the impossible just happened with Y.E. Yang taming the Tiger. Tiger Woods is the most dominant golfer and athlete in the world. When Tiger enters the final round of a major golf tournament with a lead, he is 14 of 14. It’s what they call “automatic” in the sports world. Tiger had a 2 shot lead over Padraig Harrington and South Korean Y.E. Yang entering Sunday, but over the difficult windy conditions at Hazeltine on Sunday, Tiger just couldn’t get the putter to get the ball in the hole when he needed it. He said he hit the ball beautifully all day; the flat stick just wouldn”t cooperate with a few misread putts. If you’ve followed Tiger Woods’ career, it’s been clutch putt after clutch putt that one remembers about Tiger when he wins major golf tournaments. Today he was denied for the first time in his glorious career, and he was stopped cold by Y.E. Yang who beat Tiger by 3 strokes after the scorecards were signed. So how big or hard was this accomplishment?
Tiger Woods is 14 of 14 when leading the tournament going into the final day.
Tiger Woods has 70 tour victories. Y.E. Yang has 1 tour victory.
Y.E. Yang has never been in the final group with Tiger where everyone crumbles under the pressure and the massive crowds that surround them.
Y.E. Yang is ranked #110 in the world. Tiger Woods is ranked #1 for the longest time.
Tiger Woods has won 14 major championships. Y.E. Yang has only played in 5 major tournaments.
No Asian born player has won a major golf tournament.
On the final hole, the 72nd hole of the PGA Championship, Y.E. Yang hit the greatest 3 hybrid of his life with the ball landing about 10 feet from the hole. Tiger had to be aggressive because he was trailing by one shot, but his aggressiveness landed him in the rough and he ended up bogeying the hole, while Y.E. Yang slammed the door with a birdie. Tiger Woods didn’t lose this tournament – Y.E. Yang won it. The staff here are big Tiger Woods’ fans, but we’re very happy that South Korean Y.E. Yang played David and slayed Goliath. This only gives hope to the rest of the PGA tour that other players can face the barrel of the cannon known as Tiger Woods and win. Congratulations to Y.E. Yang. The Korean women have been dominant on the LPGA Women’s Tour, now Y.E. Yang is showing that the Korean men are here to stay. Don’t forget about K.J. Choi, Anthony Kim, Kevin Na, and other players of Korean descent who are on tour. It’s the Korean wave!
Entering today’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine in Minnesota, Tiger Woods leads the field by two strokes over South Korean Y.E. Yang and Padraig Harrington. It’s the final round and when Tiger Woods is leading a major tournament going into the final round, it’s like Mariano Rivera closing out a Yankee’s game: thank you for coming, good night and have a nice drive home. Well, what you may not know about Y.E. Yang is that the last time Tiger and Y.E. were going head to head, Mr. Yang beat Tiger Woods at the HSBC Champions Tournament in 2007 in Shanghai. However, he did it without having to be in the same group and dealing with the massive crowds that follow Tiger Woods, which always gives Tiger a big psychological advantage because he’s used to the followings while his fellow competitors are overwhelmed by so many eyes on them. How does Y.E. Yang feel about his odds of beating Tiger Woods?
“With Woods, he’s won 70 times now, and I’ve won only won once,” Yang said through an interpreter. “So it’s sort of 70-to-1 odds. So I might as well go for broke as well.”
Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Greetings from Florida. Your grapefruit and baby alligator will arrive shortly. Meanwhile, the weekly Tour Confidential is now in session. Anyone besides me ordering Rosetta Stone to start working on my Korean? The invasion is imminent. Y.E. Yang (honk if you hadn’t heard of him before last week) just won the Honda, Jiyai Shin won the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. (I stand by my earlier prediction that she will overtake Lorena Ochoa as the No. 1 golfer in the world in less than two years.) And Korea beat China in that lame world baseball tournament. Read>