Noh in contention on familiar ground

Fri 31 Oct 2014

Noh in contention on familiar ground

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Kuala Lumpur, October 31: Korean star Noh Seung-yul was happy to be back in the title hunt on familiar ground at the US$7 million CIMB Classic on Friday.
The 23-year-old, the youngest Asian Tour number one in 2010, hit a three-under-par 69 for a two-day total of seven-under-par 137 to trail halfway leader Billy Hurley III by three strokes.
The slender Korean was victorious at this week’s venue, the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, four years ago at the Malaysian Open and his career has since blossomed that his resume now includes a maiden title on the PGA TOUR.
On another steamy day in the Malaysian capital, he ground out six birdies against three bogeys, which he termed as “silly mistakes.”
Noh Seung-yul of Korea Noh Seung-yul of Korea
“It’s a pretty good round, but you know, I just made a few silly mistakes. When I played here a few years ago, the course was really firm and fast, and this week, I don't know why, I think it’s soft because of heavy rain,” said Noh.
“I feel very comfortable on this course, and the swing is pretty good. I missed a few putts but still I’m playing good, and just three shots behind. So it’ll be really exciting for the weekend.”
He has taken full advantage of the par fives so far, getting to six under on those holes in the last two days. He believes the CIMB Classic would be determined by the par fives.
“I think this course is very good advantage for the long hitters on the par fives. I’ve made six birdies on the last two days. That's the key to this course,” said Noh.
As a 16-year-old, Noh earned his Asian Tour card through Qualifying School in 2008 and made an immediate impact by winning the China Classic later that year and was subsequently named Rookie of the Year.
He continued to mature into an exciting young talent and won in Malaysia two years later which helped him become the youngest Asian Tour number one at the age of 19 years and 204 days old. Noh credited the Asian Tour for making him what he is today.
“Getting a bigger career now,” said Noh, who has played in the U.S. for the past three years. “If I was not playing on the Asian Tour (previously), I would play on as a Korean National Team member and play amateur events and would not have got much experience. When I turned pro, we had players like Thongchai Jaidee and Jeev Milkha Singh and I learned a lot for my golf game, like course management or even playing shaped shots by watching the others and I followed them. The game has become a lot better.
“Winning on PGA TOUR, you know, I learned how to make a win.  And after that I got a lot of confidence.”
Currently ranked 91st in the world, Noh is aiming to qualify for the International Team when Korea hosts the Presidents Cup next year. Representing his country at the Olympics when golf returns in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 is another top priority, especially when winning a medal would mean an exemption from a mandatory two-year military service.
“Looking at the next two years, we’ve got the President's Cup next year. And the next thing is to make the Olympics for Korea and try to win a gold medal, or any medal.  If I play those two events, and maybe get into the top-50 (in the world), maybe I can win a Major,” he said.
The CIMB Classic, which is also sanctioned by the Professional Golf Association of Malaysia, is part of the season-long PGA TOUR FedExCup competition. The event was inaugurated in 2010 and is the only official PGA TOUR event to be held in Southeast Asia.
About CIMB Group
The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 9 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately USD 19.0 billion as at 30 June 2014 and over 40,000 employees located in 18 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com.
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China.
The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in the communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1 billion households in 225 countries and territories in 32 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2013, tournaments across all Tours generated more than $134 million for local and national charitable organizations and in early 2014 the TOUR’s all-time charitable contributions surpassed $2 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) 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.