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[Golf] 2 Korean Giants to Face Off at Donghae Open

Posted October. 01, 2009 07:33,   


A famous proverb on investment says, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” stressing diversification.

Yet the Shinhan Donghae Open golf championship to open Oct. 15 at Yongin Lakeside Country Club in Gyeonggi Province will have two golden eggs in its basket: K.J. Choi and Y.E Yang, the top two Korean male players in golf.

Until the end of last year, Choi had been an Asian golf pioneer by winning seven PGA titles while Yang was unknown on the tour.

The tables were turned in August after Yang became the first Asian-born player to win the PGA Championship, beating Tiger Woods in the final round. His dramatic second shot on the 18th hole left such a strong impression, Sports Illustrated magazine called it the golf shot of the year.

Choi, however, is in a slump this year due to the effects of weight loss, a title drought, and failing to make the cut in nine of 21 championships. His prize money ranking plummeted to 84th (950,000 U.S. dollars), while Yang’s shot up to 10th (3.49 million dollars).

Yet Choi has won the Donghae Open over the past two years, and is eyeing a third consecutive win in Yongin.

Yang, however, will also play for pride in his home country. His entry into the tournament had remained uncertain because of his surging value, but Yang agreed to a modest increase in his invitation fee.

He has been inundated with requests to play in ProAm Golf.

Aware of the heightened atmosphere, tournament sponsor Shinhan Bank will roll out the red carpet for Choi in arranging security, media interviews and photo sessions.

The anticipated confrontation between Choi and Yang is expected to raise attendance at the championship to a record high.