Golfing fans find an outletAn international-class pro golf tournament to be held this week on a lush course south of Seoul will provide a rare opportunity for local golf fans to watch a high level of competition.
The 47th Kolon Korea Open kicks off Thursday at 7:30 a.m. at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club in Cheonan, South Chungcheong province. It will feature PGA tour golfers like Ernie Els of South Africa, John Daly of the United States and local hero Kevin Na. An $82,000 prize awaits the first-place winner out of a total purse of $400,000.
The tournament features top-ranked male golfers from abroad like Els, who is ranked third in the world behind Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh. He has won two major PGA events this year ― the Sony Open and the Memorial Tournament― as well as the European PGA’s Heineken Classic in Australia. Els also finished in the top 10 in six other golf tournaments, including the U.S. Open, the Masters and the British Open, this year.
A player known for his skill on short games as well as his long drive shots, Els is ranked 14th among PGA members in driving distance.
The defending champion of the Kolon Korea Open, John Daly, won the Buick International this year but hasn’t had a PGA tour victory in nearly nine years. Daly is ranked 36th in the world.
Kevin Na, the PGA tour’s youngest player, finished 10th at last year’s Korea Open. His best finish on a PGA event this year is a fourth-place draw at the Honda Classic. The 20-year-old Korean turned pro at 17 and spent the last two years on the Asian PGA tour. By winning the 2002 Volvo Masters of Asia, he became the youngest winner of an Asian PGA event.
Other noteworthy players are S. K. Ho of Korea, Simon Yates of Scotland and Liang Wen-chong of China.
Shuttle buses will run from the Asan KTX train station and the country club every 15 minutes. Those who purchase a package (train/event tickets) receive a 30-percent discount on the train. The package is available at two travel agencies: Chungsong (1577-7788) and Hong-ik Travel (02-717-1002).
by Limb Jae-un
For more information, visit www.koreaopen.com or call (02) 3677-8874.