DID YOU KNOW? – BALLANTINE’S CHAMPIONSHIP
• The visit to South Korea for the first Ballantine’s Championship in 2008 marked the 38th different nation to play host to a European Tour event. South Korea represented the tenth different Asian country to hold a European Tour International Schedule event.
• Runner-up in 2011, Miguel Angel Jiménez will be hoping to go one better in 2012. Should he triumph, he would not only become the oldest winner in European Tour history, aged, 48 years and 115 days, but would become the most prolific winner of European Tour events staged on Asian soil, with six victories. This record he currently shares with Ernie Els. Jiménez has won in Thailand (2004 Johnnie Walker Classic); China (2004 BMW Asian Open); Hong Kong (2005and 2008 Hong Kong Open) and Dubai (2010 Omega Dubai Desert Classic).
• Thongchai Jaidee has the most successful record of any player in the Ballantine’s Championship. He won the event in 2009, his last European Tour victory and was tied ninth in 2010. Should he win in 2012, he would continue his record of all his European Tour successes coming in Asia. He would also join Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jiménez as players to win the most Asia-based European Tour events, with five.
• South Korea has seen four different winners on The European Tour. They are: K J Choi (2003 German Masters), Charlie Wi (2006 Maybank Malaysian Open), Y E Yang (2007 (HSBC Champions, 2009 US PGA Championship and 2010 Volvo China Open) and Noh Seung-yul (2010 Maybank Malaysian Open).
• Bae Sang-moon is the highest ranked South Korean player in the field at Number 32. His best European Tour career performance was tied fifth in the 2012 WGC – Accenture Match Play Championship. He has played in all four of the previous Ballantine’s Championships and has a best of tied 18th in 2008.
• The best finish by a Korean player in the Ballantine’s Championship was tied second in 2009. Kang Sung-hoon was involved in a play-off with Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and eventual winner, Thongchai Jaidee. Kang is the only Korean player to have taken part in a European Tour play-off.
• The Ballantine’s Championship has a place in European Tour history. The 2008 and 2009 editions both were settled via a play-off. This marked the first time that a tournament witnessed extra holes in its first two years.
• The Blackstone Golf Club, the venue was for 2011 and 2012 Ballantine’s Championship, was named the best new course in South Korea for 2010-2011.
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