Ho Tram, Vietnam: Korean history-maker Yang Yong-eun, Asia’s lone Major champion, will line up in this week’s inaugural US$1.5 million Ho Tram Open as he seeks to continue his career resurgence.
The 43-year-old Yang, who is an Asian Tour honorary member, will be among the main drawcards at the award-winning course at The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip, a Golf Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
Other top Asian Tour golfers who have signed up for Vietnam’s richest sports event from December 3-6 include reigning Order of Merit champion David Lipsky of the United States, two-time number one Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Filipino star Angelo Que and Indians Arjun Atwal, also a former Order of Merit winner.
Big-hitting Australian Scott Hend, India’s SSP Chawrasia, Danny Chia of Malaysia, Canadian Richard T. Lee and American Paul Peterson, all in the top-10 of the current Merit list, are also slated to feature in the event which is themed ‘Asia’s Grandest Stage’.
The Asian Tour continent will compete against some of the world’s top players, including Spaniard Sergio Garcia and Ryder Cup and EurAsia Cup captain Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland.
The powerfully-built Yang is famous for winning the 2009 PGA Championship where he upset then world number one Tiger Woods in a head-to-head final-day duel. The Korean has one other victory on the PGA Tour as well as triumphs at the Korean Open and HSBC Champions in China, both in 2006.
He has also won five times in Japan but in recent years his career has seen a downturn with his world ranking plummeting to 638th at the end of 2014. However, Yang has shown signs of a revival this year with four top-10s, including a tied seventh finish at last month’s UBS Hong Kong Open.
Left-handed Peterson, who is seeking a maiden Asian Tour win, is among those looking forward to challenging the Greg Norman-designed course. He said: “I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip course which I believe just won a top golf award. I can’t wait to get there. It will be my first time visiting Vietnam and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve enjoyed a good season and hopefully I will play my best golf to challenge for the Ho Tram Open title.”
Atwal, India’s first Order of Merit champion in Asia and the first from his country to win on the PGA Tour, is also excited about his maiden trip to Vietnam. “It is great to have a new sponsor and a new tournament on our Tour. I understand it is a nice golf course and resort and I’m looking forward to it … it’ll be fun,” said Atwal.