Melbourne, Australia: Korean Yang Gunn, the hottest property in men’s amateur golf, has confirmed his appearance in next month’s sixth edition of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.
Yang sprung to prominence last month when he recorded a shock victory in the US Amateur Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Now the 20-year-old is bidding to write his name into golf’s record books as the first player to win both the US Amateur and Asia-Pacific Amateur.
The 72-hole stroke play competition will be played over the Composite Course at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club from October 23-26 and will also feature former champion Guan Tianlang.
Yang, who spent time in Australia as a boy, now attends college at San Diego State University in California, although he recently announced he will take a year off his studies to play golf. He is familiar with the surrounds of Royal Melbourne, having played metropolitan pennant golf for Kingswood Golf Club and won the Riversdale Golf Club Championship as a teenager.
On the prospect of returning to play in Australia, he said: “I had such great golfing memories back in Australia and especially one of my favourite golf courses, Royal Melbourne Golf Club. I am really excited to return back to my golf home ground and compete in the prestigious Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.”
His victory at the US Amateur was a surprise having entered the championship as 776th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR). He beat collegiate All-American Seth Reeves and then world number one Ollie Schniederjans along the way, then toppled Corey Conners in the final, 2 and 1.
Looking to reclaim his title is 15 year-old Chinese Guan who won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in 2012 and played in the 2013 Masters at just 14 years of age, the youngest competitor in the history of the tournament.
Also in the starting line-up at Royal Melbourne will be a six-strong Singaporean contingent made up of Marc Ong, Gregory Foo, Jonathan Woo, Johnson Poh, Jerome Ng and Qi Wen Wong.
Established in 2009 by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC), Masters Tournament and The R&A, the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship will see a field of 120 of the highest ranked-players descend on Melbourne to experience the premier amateur golf competition in the region.
The champion will receive an invitation to compete in the Masters Tournament in April 2015 and an exemption into The Amateur Championship, which is conducted by The R&A. In addition, along with the runner-up, places in The Open Qualifying Series are available, with the opportunity to qualify for The Open Championship at St Andrews in 2015.