Monday, August 17, 2009

Yang breaks through

CHASKA, Minn. (AP) — For years, Asian countries could only boast about growth and potential in men's golf. Success was measured by a half-dozen players who had cracked the top 50 in the world rankings over the last decade.

It took Y.E. Yang and his stunning victory over Tiger Woods to make them a major part of the conversation.

"We've been waiting for quite a number of years for this," said Peter Dawson, chief executive of the hallowed Royal & Ancient Golf Club in Scotland. "Perhaps the PGA Championship was not the one we were expecting. But it's great for golf. It's great for Korea. It's great for Asia. And it's very timely for getting back into the Olympics.

"It's a fantastic day for golf."

Until the 2009 PGA Championship, players from every continent except Asia and Antarctica had captured a major championship over the last three years as "global golf" became a buzz term.

That changed Sunday at Hazeltine when Yang, a 37-year-old South Korean, delivered a shot felt across oceans. Leading by one shot against the world's No. 1 player on the 18th hole, he struck a 3-iron hybrid from 210 yards around a tree, barely over a bunker and onto the green about 12 feet from the cup.

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