Saturday October 20, 2012
Talented trio return to happy hunting ground for CIMB Classic
PETALING JAYA: The talented trio of Kevin Na, Charlie Wi and Noh Seung-yul will be taking a trip down memory lane when they compete in the US$6.1mil CIMB Classic at the Mines Resort and Golf Club next week.
Malaysia has been a happy hunting ground for the trio, who have all won tournaments here when they featured on the Asian Tour previously before moving on to the PGA Tour.
The 40-year-old Wi claimed the first of his seven Asian Tour titles at the 1997 Kuala Lumpur Open before establishing himself as one of Asia’s top golfers with six more victories, including the 2006 Malaysian Open.
Na, a Korean-American, enjoyed his career breakthrough by winning his maiden professional title at the 2002 Volvo Masters of Asia in Malaysia while the gifted Seung-yul has since emerged as one of the Asian Tour’s greatest talents in recent times.
Seung-yul has been touted as a potential top-10 player in the world and is currently training under swing guru Sean Foley, who is also the coach of 14-time Major champion Tiger Woods.
Former world No. 1 Woods will headline the CIMB Classic along with title holder Bo Van Pelt and inaugural champion Ben Crane.
The slender Seung-yul produced an impressive rookie season on the PGA Tour this year, notching three top-10s and 13 top-25s. He has also made 17 consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour dating back to April.
Seung-yul, who started hitting golf balls on the beach near his home when he was seven, said competing on the Asian Tour laid the foundation for his rapid rise in the game.
Sanctioned by the PGA Tour, Asian Tour and Professional Golf Association of Malaysia, the CIMB Classic will see a top class field of 48 players competing for the US$1.3mil winning purse.
The tournament will feature 30 players from the PGA Tour and the top 10 available players from the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit. Eight sponsors’ exemptions will make up the rest of the field, with two places reserved for Malaysian professionals.