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S. Koreans Wing to the Top
New US PGA Cahmpion YE Yang on Talk Asia
CNN Looks into How S. Korean Golfers Make History
New US PGA Cahmpion YE Yang

'Talk Asia' is with South Korea's new U.S. PGA champion, Y.E. Yang, who stunned the golf world with a thrilling victory over Tiger Woods and became the world’s first Asian-born player to win a major championship. Fresh from his victory at the PGA and now a hero in his native South Korea, CNN’s Kyung Lah caught up with him on the green to hear what he has to say about holding off Tiger Woods in the final round of a Major Championship and his approach to the game.

Selected Quotes:

Yang’s thoughts on the win and Tiger:

And I never thought of winning since Tiger Woods is an amazing golfer. And although there were many galleries of people following us – and TV cameras were walking along – none of them was in my mind. I focused on the game by seeing myself playing an enjoyable round with Tiger Woods. And I think that’s how it led to good results.

There are only a few players who would be confident to compete against a player who’s won 70 tournaments, is the top ranked player in the world and has won 14 Majors...versus me. I’ve only won one tournament, was ranked 110th and I only made the cut in a Major a few times.

On whether he could pull off such a feat again:

Although I won once against him, I’m still such a small player compared to Tiger and I see myself lacking in many ways. So if I were to tee-off tomorrow, I wish it wouldn’t happen…well, because there’s no guarantee that I would win again.

Yang on how he came to be where he is today:

I taught myself, not because I wanted to become a professional golfer, but only because I thought I could make a living teaching lessons at golf courses, as a pro. But it’s just like a staircase. One step after another, you see a higher goal to achieve and you set that goal for yourself. So, for me, it was a series of higher goals from having that license as an instructor… to become a semi-pro in Korea… then a pro… then a pro on the Asian Tour… then on the Japanese Golf tour… and finally to reach the American PGA tour.

On becoming the world’s first Asian-born player to win a major championship:

I can’t say with certainty that it’s going to change the face of golf. But I do think that a lot of Asians would be inspired by this occasion and I think a lot of Asian players, including myself, would try to put a mark in a world class game like the PGA tour or in any other tour.

www.cnn.com/talkasia

September's 'Living Golf' investigates the outstanding success of South Korean women in the game of golf. Once dominated by Americans and Europeans, nearly a quarter of the players of the LPGA Tour, the world's leading female golf tour, are from South Korea. Host Justin Armsden examines certain attributes South Korean professionals have that might breed this success.

'Living Golf' also looks at how South Korea's male golfers are playing catch up as compulsory military service sees them fall behind their overseas rivals. The program spends time with one young hopeful who has yet to serve for his country and finds out how he's preparing for life away from the game.

While South Korean golfers are making headlines around the world, the game is still thriving back on home soil, and not only on the fairways. From its capital Seoul, 'Living Golf' explores virtual-reality golf, a fast-growing pastime for South Koreans, having grown from fewer than 300 golf cafes in 2003 to around 2,500 last year. www.cnn.com/livinggolf




 

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