By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
MELBOURNE, Australia – The Presidents Cup will be played in the Pacific Rim for the first time in 2015 when the 10th renewal of the biennial matches are held in South Korea.
The venue will be announced in the first half of 2012. PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem said there are a number of options and the search is on-going.
Joining Finchem at Wednesday’s press conference were three members of the International Team – K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang and K.T. Kim. This is the first year more than one Korean has been represented on the squad.
“I think when you look at K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang and Kyung‑tae Kim, this is the future,” Finchem said. “This is the future of golf in Korea, certainly on the men's side, and it represents to a great degree what The Presidents Cup is all about: Allowing players who come from places outside the United States and Europe to showcase their skills in this unique team environment.
“So all of that adds up to very strong, compelling reasons to go to Korea, to take advantage of taking what The Presidents Cup is all about and sharing it with the Pacific region and particularly Korea and Asia.”
Choi, who is the reigning PLAYERS champion, said he is excited about the development.
"To be one of the players involved in such a prestigious event and hopefully in the prestigious event coming up in Korea in 2015, I'm very honored and very delighted,” Choi said. “It's an honor, still, just to have three players from the same country play at such an event, and it's a much bigger honor to have the event held in my home country.
“It's a good step and positive step in heading to globalization for golf in Korea, and I think everyone in here, including K.T., myself and Y.E., we will try and do our best to keep our a‑level games up until 2015. I know that a lot of my compatriots back home are going to target their goals towards the 2015 Presidents Cup, so I'm very delighted and thank you very much.”
Yang, who won the 2009 PGA Championship and is playing in his second Presidents Cup, echoed Choi's words.
"The first time I came to The Presidents Cup in San Francisco I was a bit awestruck,” Yang said. “Now I can actually absorb a little of what this is and what the meaning of The Presidents Cup is, and apart from it being competitive and a competition for two continents, it's also a golf festival for not just the host country but also for everyone involved, and all of the countries involved.
“So to have that kind of huge golf festival coming to Korea is a great honor, and it just adds to the delight that I chose right in my line of work. I'm very glad; it's one of the occasions where I feel proud that I picked up golf as a living.”
Before the three players left to join the International Team at its barbecue, Choi was asked whether he wanted to throw his name in as a potential captain. He said that he would rather play.
“I learned a lot from playing with the Aussie players this week, how they take pride in playing in their home country,” Choi said. “ would like to feel that, and feel that kind of feel back home, not as a captain but as a player.
“And it's a great stepping stone for a lot of Asian players, and it's a good target for a lot of Asian players to aim for participation in The Presidents Cup. So throughout the years, it was my role and I guess Y.E.'s role to sort of open up the windows for Asian players in Europe and in the U.S. It was quite predominately U.S. and European players in South African and Australian players, and I believe that we sort of trail-blazed that Asian players can compete at that level as well.
“I do believe that with The Presidents Cup coming into Korea and with a lot of Asian players growing up, it's going to be another endeavor for the younger generation to build upon what we opened up and maybe better it and try to compete at a high level in the bigger events.”
ATLANTA -- A wide range of emotions, not coincidentally tied to scores shot Saturday during the third round of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, were reflected in tweets sent overnight by players competing at East Lake.
Luke Donald's 70 was his highest tally of the week but still left him in position for an historic double. He's 6 under and three shots off the lead – Donald would pocket the FedExCup's $10 million bonus if he can come from behind and win.
@LukeDonald That was a tough day out there today, had to fight really hard, tomorrow will be even tougher. Can't wait!
Bubba Watson continued his tumultuous relationship with East Lake -- firing a 79 on Saturday after shooting his career low of 64 the previous day. The killer was a quintuple bogey 9 at the 17th hole that included two bogeys in the water beside the green.
@bubbawatson All I can say or do is dust myself off & try to play better tomorrow! #eastlakewinning
And Y.E. Yang, who won the 2009 PGA Championship, has yet to break par at East Lake.
@Y_E_Yang When ur game is off like today, you lose all interest. Hope KJ plays well tomorrow. I am just going to play with abandon tomorrow.
@Y_E_Yang At least the wife is here tonight. That cheered me up a bit. Otherwise, it feels like kinda blank and wasted today
And here’s a tweet Sunday from a player who didn’t make the Playoffs finale!
@IanJamesPoulter It's a mans day today check it out. F1 this morning, then footie, Solheim cup, then 10 mil shootout.
ATLANTA -- There's no one tweeting 'Go Time' today since Rickie Fowler came 14 spots shy of making the field for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
But two of the 30 players in the field at East Lake did take to Twitter prior to their first rounds on Thursday.
@Y_E_Yang Last 4 rounds of this season: 2nd to tee off at 11:45. 30 players only have makes it look like an exhibition match, in reality anything but.
@JByrdpga Thanks to Adam Hayes, Randy Myers, Mo Pickens, Mike Bender, Keith Kleven, Jimmy Johnston, Mac Barnhardt, and of course my beautiful bride!
@JByrdpga Thank you for your expertise and all your hard work this year to help me be here at the Tour Championship #Gladyouronmyteam
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
LEMONT, Ill. -- Y.E. Yang was all smiles as he walked up the stairs to the scorer's trailer on a dreary Sunday afternoon.
Yang wasn't totally sure but he knew his round of 70 had given him a shot at remaining in the top 30 of the FedExCup. And he was right -- Yang started the week at No. 28 and was 29th when he finished.
"I didn't know the exact ranking where I was FedExCup points wise, but the weather is not ideal today, so a lot of players must have struggled, and I knew that if I played under par today, I would have a good chance to still cling on to that last few spots," Yang said through his interpreter.
"I did have a chance to check midway, and I was still around the bubble, so I figured I'd probably be still around the same position I started at."
Yang gave himself some anxious moments at the 18th, though, as his approach came in low and just cleared the water. Yang's caddy said the two had been trying to hit the 2-hybrid well over the green.
"I did focus quite a lot and try to hit the right shot, but I think I hit it a little bit fat but actually made it fly a little bit low. I thought as it was in flight that it might not even clear the hazard.
"Right when I saw it hit the front edge of the green and go over instead of coming back into the water, I think that was when ... my legs got a little bit weaker there."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. – Some PGA TOUR players have an entourage that would make Jeremy Pivens envious.
Short game gurus, swing coaches and sports psychologists, to name a few. And that doesn't even count the requisite agents, publicists and trainers.
But Y.E. Yang has taken control of his own game this year and is no longer is working with a swing coach. The 2009 PGA champ must be doing something right -- and Friday's opening 66 at the Deutsche Bank Championship was just another indication.
"I'm finally tweaking the right things, I think," the Korean said through an interpreter. "It's been a year and a season of adjustments, and today, this morning, I experimented by not swinging my right arm too far back in my backswing, actually keeping my armpit closed a lot more than usual, and I think that helped my control overall in my driver and my second shots.
"So I think those little experiments are paying off, and self-teaching has its benefits, as well."
That confidence couldn't come at a better time, too. Yang picked up his fifth top-10 of the season at The Barclays last week when he closed with a 63, tied for sixth and moved to 26th in the FedExCup standings.
After Friday's first round, Yang was projected ninth in the rankings.
"I'll definitely check it," he said. "I think every player checks it. But I think it's good that the ascension is coming right now, not earlier in the season, because the Playoffs are definitely important. Everybody is eyeing that big prize at the end.
"And last week felt gradually good, and then the final round last week I played fairly well. I'm trying to keep that momentum going. If it is a peak, then I hope this peak lasts for a long time."
NORTON, Mass. – Luke Donald and Y.E. Yang played on opposite nines on Friday at TPC Boston but they had one thing in common.
The two have just finished off 66s in the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship that put them one shot off Troy Matteson’s lead. The two are tied with Jerry Kelly and Charl Schwartzel, who both shot their rounds of 5 under in the morning.
George McNeill, Steve Marino, Jonathan Byrd and Rory Sabbatini shot 67s in the afternoon. The four are tied with early finishesrs Jason Day, Nick Watney and Chez Reavie.
Nine players remain on the course, all playing the 18th hole.
Vijay Singh said it: “59s are out there. If you look at it, how easy it's playing.”
He went on to add that there is trouble out there too if players aren’t careful at Plainfield Country Club. But with some of the low numbers already popping up, someone might just shoot golf’s magic number.
Already Brandt Snedeker and Y.E. Yang are each 6 under through eight and seven holes -- Snedeker birdied his first five holes and added another on No. 7, while Yang birdied six straight starting on No. 2.
The record for most birdies in a row, in case you’re wondering, is nine by Mark Calcavecchia at the 2009 RBC Canadian Open. The lowest nine-hole score on a par-35 is 27. Six players have accomplished that feat -- including Snedeker in 2007 at Torrey Pines’ North Course. The low nine ever is 26 (on a par-34), which Corey Pavin did at Brown Deer Park in the 2006 U.S. Bank Championship at Milwaukee.
BETHESDA, Md. – Rory McIlroy just rifled his tee shot at the par-3 10th hole over the pin, then watched as it trickled back toward the cup and stopped about two inches away.
As he began the final nine holes of the 111th U.S. Open, McIlroy owns a commanding eight-stroke lead. Y.E. Yang, who just birdied the par-5 ninth, is as close to McIlroy as anyone has been all day.
McIlroy tapped in for birdie, then Yang made his to move to 17 and 9 under, respectively.
Interestingly, the Korean is a birdie away from becoming the second person this week to reach double digits under par at a U.S. Open – only four players had done it before McIlroy joined them this week.
BETHESDA, Md. – Overcast skies and the threat of rain haven’t deterred the fans from coming out to Congressional on Father’s Day for the chance to potentially see history made.
There should be a break in the cloud cover by 2-3 p.m. as temperatures rise into the low 80s. But a large area of showers and thunderstorms moving east from Indiana and Kentucky is expected to impact the area in the late afternoon.
Rory McIlroy and Y.E. Yang teeing off at 3:30 p.m. and aren’t expected to finish until after 7 p.m. So there likely will be eyes to the skies on the back nine as the chance of thunderstorms increases to 50 percent.
Of course, there was a similar forecast on Saturday and Mother Nature cooperated. So keep your fingers crossed.