Korean Noh invited to play in PGA Championship

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Korean Noh invited to play in PGA Championship

KOHLER, Wisconsin - Korea’s Noh Seung-yul, England’s Simon Khan and Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castro are among the players who received special invitations on Monday to join next week’s PGA Championship.

The 19-year-old Noh is the first ever Korean who has been issued a special invitation to join a major.

Noh competed in the U.S. Open and the British Open through the qualifying rounds but will compete in the third of four major competitions as a special invitee.

The PGA of America is filling the 156-man field for the year’s final major tournament at Whistling Straits with the special invitations to numerous players, including U.S. 2008 Ryder Cup players Ben Curtis and Boo Weekley.

While Justin Leonard, another U.S. Ryder Cup player from the victory over Europe two years ago, fell out of the top 100, he claimed a spot in the field via a list of prize money earned since last year’s PGA Championship.

At the championship, which will be held from Aug. 12 to 15, Korean Yang Yong-eun will defend his major crown - the first won by an Asian man. Other Korean golfers competing in the event include Choi Kyung-joo, Charlie Wi, Na Sang-wook and Kim Kyung-tae.

World No. 1 Tiger Woods, who battled Yang down the stretch before losing his first major when leading after 54 holes, will also try to win his first title since a sex scandal last November shattered his iconic image.

Two remaining vacant berths in the PGA Championship are being reserved for some players participating in this week’s U.S. events -the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Turning Stone Championship.

The top two players for those spots are D.J. Trahan of the United States and Matt Jones of Australia.

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