Yang sets sights on history at Ballantine's Championship

Tue 23 Apr 2013

Yang sets sights on history at Ballantine's Championship

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Seoul, April 23: Asian Tour honorary member Y.E. Yang is hoping to reach another milestone in his illustrious career by becoming the first Korean to win the Ballantine’s Championship when the €2,205,000 (Approximately US$2.8 million) showpiece tees off at the Blackstone Golf Club on Thursday.
The sixth edition of the Ballantine’s Championship will be the first event to be played in Korea on the Asian Tour this season and is once again sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Korea PGA.
No Korean has won the Ballantine’s Championship since the event was inaugurated in 2008 but like his history-making feat when he became the first Asian to win a Major at the PGA Championship in 2009, Yang is determined to etch his place in the record books again.
“As a Korean player and as an individual, I think that I could have done better.  So this time around, I'm going to do my best so that we can take the trophy,” said Yang who posted his best result at the Ballantine’s Championship last year where he finished tied-15th.
Based in the United States, Yang signaled his intentions to end the Korean drought at the Ballantine’s Championship by arriving home early so that he can prepare himself well.
“I normally arrive on the Monday or late Sunday night for an event. But this time around, I made sure that I’ll be in Korea early so that I can overcome my jet lag, enjoy the Korean food and have a good rest so that I can be in terrific condition for the tournament,” said Yang.
The Korean will have to contend with Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger who is determined to put up a stout defence of his title which he won in emphatic fashion 12 months ago, sinking a 20-feet birdie putt on the last hole to seal a five-stroke win over Scotland’s Richie Ramsay.
“I got my first European Tour win here, and I was really looking forward to prepare well and have a good challenge this week,” said Wiesberger.
“I did the right thing to try reflect, getting into this week on what I've done well last year, and tried to get my game into shape where I can do this again,” added the Austrian.
Meanwhile Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, who holds the honour of being the first Asian Tour player to win the Ballantine’s Championship in 2009, returns for another shot at glory.
It has been four years since Thongchai’s memorable victory in Jeju Island and while the venue of the Ballantine’s Championship has been switch to the Blackstone Golf Club near Seoul, the three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner is hopeful of another victory, provided the weather holds up.
“A lot will have to depend on the weather this week. When I won in Jeju Island, the weather was ‘killing’ me! It was so cold back then and I really hope for better weather conditions this week,” said Thongchai.
The 43-year-old has enjoyed victories all over the world including his maiden European triumph in Wales last year and could feature strongly on the leaderboard again if he perfects his short game this week.
“I had to work on my putting as I was not putting well the last couple of weeks like in Chiangmai (where he finished tied-10th). I’ve been working on my putting since then,” said Thongchai.
“In golf, you never know. There’re lots of ups and down but more importantly, you got to keep going even though the week may not be going well for you. I know what it’s like as you got to stay patient for that win, and hopefully it’ll eventually come,” said the 13-time Asian Tour winner.
The Ballantine’s Championship was established in 2008 and builds on Ballantine’s long-standing association with golf.
In addition to the Championship, Ballantine’s sponsors several top-flight players and events, as well as invests in grass-roots activity such as the Golf Fund in China and the Road to the Ballantine’s Championship in Korea.
Ends.
About Ballantine’s
Ballantine’s is the No 2 ultra-premium Scotch whisky in Asia, No 1 Scotch whisky in Europe and the range sells over 70 million bottles a year worldwide. Ballantine’s has won more than 129 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the exclusive 40 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by the latest in a tradition of Master Blenders that dates back to 1827.
•          Ballantine’s has been title sponsor of the Ballantine’s Championship since 2008
•          Ballantine’s is an official sponsor of the BMW Masters, The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open & The World Cup of Golf
•          The first Ballantine’s sponsored golf tournament was played in 1960 at Wentworth Golf Club, England
About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport Scotch.
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), BlackBerry (Official Communications 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