Yang completes big week for Korean golf
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2009 The Honda Classic | Round Four | 09 Mar 2009
Y.E. Yang won his first PGA Tour event in his just second season as a PGA Tour player but what at one stage appeared to be a comfortable stroll to victory became anything but that.
Two late bogeys by Yang and a solid late challenge by John Rollins put his victory at the Honda Classic in Florida in jeopardy but the 37-year-old salvaged the required par at the last and claimed the US$1 million first prize.
Along with Jiyai Shin’s victory at the HSBC Champions event in Singapore it rounds off a great week for Korean golf.
Yang played the Japan Golf Tour for several years and was one of that Tour’s best players during his time there. He won four times in his five seasons and was often well placed on the money list.
Yang made the move to the Europe in 2007 after winning the co-sanctioned HSBC Champions event and then headed to the US in 2008 after gaining his card at the Tour School. His first season in the US was disappointing.
“You know, when I won the HSBC Champions, at that time, it was such a big tournament,” said Yang after his win. “At that point, when I was invited to the Masters, up to that point my dream was to play in the Masters. When I got invited, I had actually realised my dream. After that, I think the passion for – I lost a sense – I did have a goal. I think my passion for the game went down a little bit. I took things for granted.”
“After winning today, I realise that there’s a bigger goal out there. I would like to see myself achieve bigger things. So that’s how different I am.”
“I think I put a lot of pressure on myself those two years after I won the HSBC. Now that I found myself playing in the bigger, global tournaments like the World Golf Championships, PGA Tour events, the majors, I think playing head-to-head against all of the top players, and just feeling the pressure, I think I just tried to play too much, too well, and I think that actually had a negative effect and I wasn’t able to perform that well.”
Yang now has that behind him and the considerable promise he showed earlier in his career appears as if it might now be realized.
Rollins finished one behind while Ben Crane was two further back.
Robert Allenby continued his good run of results at the Honda Classic when he finished in a share of 5th but it was a case of what might have been for the Australian. Allenby looked to be Yang’s biggest danger when he went to 7 under with seven holes to play and at that point was within two of Yang.
Allenby then proceeded to drop three shots in his last seven holes and eventually shared 5th with Scott Piercy, Will McKenzie and Fredrik Jacobson. It was Allenby’s third consecutive top five in this event.
Greg Chalmers and James Nitties were 22nd, John Senden 27th and Nick O’Hern 44th, Tim Wilkinson 64th and Marc Leishman 70th. Nathan Green made the cut but finished in the MDF category securing a cheque but not getting to play on Sunday.
The PGA Tour stays in Florida for this week’s WGC CA event and for those not eligible the Puerto Rico Open is on the schedule.