Clash of titans set for Shinhan Donghae Open

Wed 31 Aug 2016

Clash of titans set for Shinhan Donghae Open

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Incheon, Korea, August 31: The arrival of the region’s best players including Olympians Byeonghun An and Thongchai Jaidee will make the Shinhan Donghae Open a highly-anticipated event when it gets underway at the Bears Best Cheongna Golf Club from September 29 to October 2.
Inaugurated in 1981, the long-established Shinhan Donghae Open sees the return of the Asian Tour as its new sanctioning partner along with the Korean PGA. The popular event last featured on the Asian Tour schedule in 2002.
An and Thongchai represented Korea and Thailand respectively at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro earlier this month but will switch their focus towards individual glory at the KRW 1.2 billion (approximately US$1 million) tournament.
Fresh from his Olympic debut where he finished tied 11th, An will be seeking to put up a stout defence of his title against a strong field.
An, whose parents are Olympic medallists in table tennis, was named as the European Tour Rookie of the Year last year after a superb season where he won one title and posted eight top-10s.
The world number 37 has continued his fine form this season, notching three top-five finishes including a play-off defeat at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on the PGA TOUR.
"I still remember the day I won the Shinhan Donghae Open last year. It was such a special moment for me to win a title at my father’s birthplace,” said An.
The 24-year-old is aware of the tough challenge ahead as local fans are also set to see the likes of K.T. Kim, Sanghyun Park and Jinho Choi, who are the highest ranked players in Japan and Korea, in action.
Kim is a proven star in Asia where he enjoyed a phenomenal season in the Japan, winning five times before topping the money list there.
The world number 53 has also won thrice in Japan this year and is currently ranked second on the merit list there.
An is however confident of his chances and relishing the challenge.
“I’ve improved ever since that win and I’m very confident of my chances this year. I’ll do my best to defend my title,” said An.
Thongchai will be returning to familiar winning ground, having last won in the Land of the Morning Calm in 2009. His first Asian Tour victory was also achieved in the 2000 Korean Open.
The three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit champion will be hoping to add his name to the Shinhan Donghae Open’s illustrious roll of honour that includes Asian Tour honorary members K.J. Choi and India’s Jeev Milha Singh, Korea’s Charlie Wi and Sangmoon Bae as well as international luminaries Paul Casey of England and Japan’s Seiji Ebihar.
“Ever since I won my first title in Korea in 2000, Korea has always been a special place for me. Many thanks to the Shinhan Donghae Open as I now have the opportunity to visit the country again.
“It’s good the profile of the event has also become higher with the return of the Asian Tour as a sanctioning body,” said Thongchai.
Sponsored by the Shinhan Financial Group for the past 32 years, the Shinhan Donghae Open will be the last major tournament on the KPGA schedule.
As an added motivation for players from the KPGA, the top three players not otherwise exempt will earn places at the US$1.1 million Venetian Macao Open scheduled from October 13 to 16.
About Shinhan Financial Group
Shinhan Financial Group (SFG) is one of the leading financial institutions in Korea. It is the largest financial services provider in Korea in terms of both total assets and profitability. Shinhan Financial Group currently has 13 direct subsidiaries and 24 indirect subsidiaries offering a wide range of financial products and services, including commercial banking, corporate banking, private banking, credit card, asset management, brokerage and insurance services. The Group currently serves approximately 18.3 million active customers through 25,600 employees at 1,488 network branches group-wide. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea and operates 156 offices in 19 countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Mexico, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Poland, Philippine and Dubai.www.Shinhangroup.com
About the Korean PGA
KPGA is the organization of the Korean men's professional golfers and teaching professionals which was founded in 1968. At present, with 6,000 members, KPGA's goal is to enhance the careers of its members as well as to develop the game of golf through professional tournaments.
 
About the Asian Tour
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 ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Sponsor), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official Business Publication Sponsor) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.comwww.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.