Major winner Yang to play in Singapore Open

With Asia's sole male Major winner Yang Yong Eun the latest addition to the star-studded line-up, the SMBC Singapore Open's promoter is expecting bigger crowds at the Sentosa Golf Club next week.

Said Lagardere Sports vice-president Golf Asia Patrick Feizal Joyce: "Weather permitting, we expect to surpass last year's attendance figure, which was just over 23,000 for all four days.

"Tickets sales have been going extremely well and we have enjoyed unprecedented hospitality sales."

Yang's participation for the US$1 million (S$1.34 million) season opener on both the Asian and the Japan Golf Tour was confirmed yesterday.

The South Korean, who is better known as Y.E. Yang in the United States, became Asia's first male Major winner in 2009 when he rallied from two strokes behind in the final round to pip former world No. 1 Tiger Woods to the PGA Championship.

Yang, who has also finished in the top 10 at the Masters and US Open, has 11 career wins.

Joyce added: "(Yang) is an excellent addition, particularly as he is coming back to form. He won the Japan Tour qualifying school last year and of course his credentials are second to none (in Asia).

"Through his success, he has become a talisman for Asian golf."

The 45-year-old will line up at the Serapong Course alongside Masters champion Sergio Garcia of Spain and South African Louis Oosthuizen, winner of the 2010 Open Championship. Other notable names include American Pat Perez, who currently leads the FedExCup standings, Malaysian Gavin Green and Japanese Yusaku Miyazato, the 2017 Order of Merit winners on the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour respectively. Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa will also make his Singapore Open debut.

Yang's compatriot Song Young Han, who won the 2016 edition after pipping then-world No. 1 Jordan Spieth by one stroke, will also return this year.

Nicole Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2018, with the headline 'Major winner Yang to play in Singapore Open'. Print Edition | Subscribe