10 Years: Q&A with Anthony Kang

Thu 11 Jul 2013

10 Years: Q&A with Anthony Kang

  • SHARE
July 11: Three-time Asian Tour winner Anthony Kang of the United States has embarked on a professional golf career that spans more than two decades. His biggest victory on the region’s premier Tour came in 2009 when he won the Maybank Malaysian Open.
The Korean-American opens up about his life on Tour and how things have evolved since he started playing on the Asian Tour which is celebrating its milestone 10th season after establishing itself as a players’ organisation in 2004.
Can you reflect on the past 10 years? How different was the Tour back in 2004 as compared to now?
You don’t really notice much difference especially when you’re always out there playing golf. But like any other sport, players get better and the competition is a lot stronger now. The Tour was still in its infancy stage back then so there were lots to learn.  When we first started out co-sanctioning events with the European Tour, we learnt a lot from them especially the structure. There was much to learn from top to bottom. From the administration all the way down to on course facilities. It’s just getting better. A lot has changed but at the same time, it doesn’t feel like a lot has changed because we still play a lot on the same golf courses. So in that manner, it doesn’t feel much different but I can’t believe it has been 10 years already.
 
When the Tour was first launched as a players’ organization, were there many skeptics who felt that the Tour would not last beyond one year?
Honestly, I never felt any of that. I didn’t even bother because the people were basically the same. The players were the same and lots of the staff were the same. I never even thought if the Tour was going to last or not because it seemed status quo.
What was your own reaction when you learnt of that the Asian Tour was going to be structured as a players’ organisation back in 2004?
At that time, I didn’t really realise the difference between a company owning the Tour and the players being the owners of the Tour. But looking at it now, it’s definitely better now. Whenever the players have any suggestions or disagreements, they are heard and actions are carried out much quicker than before.
From stepping up to the tee 10 years ago till today, how have you developed as a player and what have you learnt about yourself?
It has been up and down. Overall, I’ve become better from the time I started but the scores don’t really reflect that the last few years. In fact I think I got worse but it’s just the nature of the sport. You’ve your peaks and valleys but I realised that I’m 40 years old now. Maybe my best days are behind me but the good thing about golf is that you can still play when you’re way into your 60s if you’re healthy. Boonchu (Ruangkit) is a good example.
 
What were the best moments for you on Tour?
Winning tournaments are obviously your highs and playing in the big events. I played in the US Open which was fun. That was my first Major and I thought that I could get into a lot more but I haven’t. I thought it would be a regular thing and I didn’t appreciate it that much then.
 
You must have made lots of friends over the last decade on the Asian Tour. Who would you count as your best buddies on Tour?
There’s golf life. It’s like you can only remain as friends for as long as you stay on Tour. It seems like once you fall off the Tour, you lose contact with everybody else because everyone lives in so many places all over the world. But having said that, I really miss my friend Ted Oh. He used to play out here a lot but hasn’t been doing so the last couple of years. But lately I got to know a lot of players from Singapore like Unho Park, Lam Chih Bing and Zaw Moe. Those guys are lots of good fun to hang out with. They’re practical jokers and make time go pass so quickly for dinners and even practice rounds.
 
What would you like to see more of in the next 10 years on the Asian Tour?
Increase number of tournaments with bigger prize money. As far as the development of the Tour, I would like to see all the events being televised here because I think that’s going to help market the Tour a lot better. I realised that the Tour is working towards that structure. I understand the difficulties as well, different borders and all these different rules that you’ve to abide by country to country. But if we can overcome that, the Tour will definitely be more marketable like the PGA and European Tour and it’ll attract more corporate sponsors.
About Anthony KANG
Country:                                 United States
Date Of Birth:                        November 30, 1972
Residence:                              Phoenix, Arizona
Family:                                    Single
Turned Pro:                            1996
ASIAN TOUR VICTORIES: (3) 1999 Casino Filipino Philippine Open, 2001 Myanmar Open, 2009 Maybank Malaysian Open.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), SAXO Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.