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7D AGO

Korea’s Byeong Hun An ready to put pedal to metal at Genesis Scottish Open

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    Written by Chuah Choo Chiang @chuahcc

    Korea’s Byeong Hun An intends to step on the gas starting at this week’s Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick, Scotland, as he seeks to savor a summer to remember.

    With The Open Championship, the year’s final major, and Paris Olympic Games to follow after the conclusion of this week’s $9 million showpiece, the in-form An hopes to shine against the stars of the game to sweeten what has been a stellar 2024 season thus far.

    “I was able to finish strong here last year," said An, who finished T3 only behind winner Rory McIlroy and runner-up Robert MacIntyre a year ago. "So I’m pretty confident coming out this week. I love links golf. Of course, you may have some difficulty with the bunkers and hazards but I love it and I think I’ll have some fun here. You need to have some luck too. If I do, I’m hoping to have another great week.”

    This season, An, 32, has accumulated five top-10s, including one runner-up and a third-place finish, and currently ranks 10th on the FedExCup standings. He also hopes to snap his streak of never qualifying for the TOUR Championship, the final FedExCup Playoffs event exclusive to the top-30 players, since making his TOUR debut in 2017.

    An’s career renaissance is linked closely to the work done with swing coach Sean Foley where the partnership began in 2021, and has helped create consistency in his game as proven by the fact he has missed only three cuts all season.

    “I think I can rate my game as being eight to nine, from out of 10," said An. "Of course this is when I’m really on good golf. But as you know, the game has ups and downs but compared to one or two years ago, my consistency is better. I can rate myself as six to eight overall whereas previously, I would give myself three to eight. I’m playing decent golf. Not super perfect but pretty good."

    A return to the Olympic Games following his debut in Rio in 2016 is something that An is excited about. His parents, Jae Hyung Ahn and Zhimin Jiao, were medalists in table tennis at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, which An has often said he hopes to emulate their medal-winning feats.

    “I want to play my usual golf. I think that will give me a chance," said An, who finished T11 in Rio. "From this week, I hope to get into some momentum that I can use for Paris and through the FedExCup Playoffs. It’s such an honor to be part of the Olympic Games. Of course, it will not be easy but I’m going to believe in myself and my game."

    With this week’s Genesis Scottish Open, which is co-sanctioned by the PGA TOUR and DP World Tour, featuring three leading Korean PGA Tour golfers in Jeongwoo Ham, Junghwan Lee and Sanghyun Park, An will be rooting for his compatriots to sparkle at The Renaissance Club.

    “I think this opportunity is really important," said An. "This is huge for them. It has never been easy to come straight to the PGA TOUR. There are not many opportunities like this and I think it is great for them."

    Chuah is senior director, marketing & communications – APAC for the PGA TOUR. Based in Malaysia, he has been a strong advocate for Asian golf over the past two decades. Follow his #AsiaRising tweets @chuahcc Follow Chuah Choo Chiang on Twitter.

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