Korea’s Y E Yang wants to add another significant title to his golfing CV with victory in next week’s Barclays Singapore Open.
Yang became the first Asian golfer to win a Major Championship when he held off then World Number One Tiger Woods to lift the US PGA Championship at Hazeltine in 2009.
Now the 41 year old has set his sights on winning at Sentosa Golf Club from November 10-13 after lighting up last year's tournament with a sensational burst of scoring. Yang reeled off three straight birdies from the 16th hole at The Serapong course to make the cut before going on to shoot 66-72 over the weekend for a top 20 finish.
“I had a really great finish on the final three holes of round two last year,” he recalled. “I needed to go three under in the last three holes just to make the cut, and the round was suspended because of darkness when I had the 16th, 17th and 18th left to play. When I came back though, it was without a doubt the most clutch display of golf I have exhibited in my career.”
Yang will come up against a cast of Major champions including American Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, Ireland's Padraig Harrington and the South African duo of Retief Goosen and Ernie Els in The European Tour/Asian Tour co-sanctioned event.
“I really don't see myself as a role model or inspiration to others and I don't have a grandiose view of myself,” said Yang. “But at the same time, if I have inspired anyone, it will be my privilege and honour of doing so.
“I just hope that the bar for golf in Asia has been raised internally with the likes of K J Choi winning The Players Championship this season, Kim Kyung-tae being ranked in the world’s top 25, Ryo Ishikawa being sensational and China’s Liang Wen-chong being inspirational to billions in his home country.
“And if my win at Hazeltine has anything to do with kids and parents taking up golf, then I will be further satisfied. Hopefully those inspired generations can win another Major again soon too. A prediction? Well, I see someone doing it in the next five to seven years.”