Korean duo Byeong Hun An and Si Woo Kim are ready to showcase their formidable partnership and cement their country’s reputation as one of Asia’s powerhouse in golf when the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf tees off next week.
Top-ranked An, who will be making his second straight appearance in the World Cup of Golf, is relishing the prospects of being part of the first Korean team to lift the trophy when he pairs up with debutant Kim at The Metropolitan Golf Club.
With an average age of 25, An and Kim might be the youngest Asian pair in the field but they have showcased immense talents on the world stage over the past few years and established themselves as the rising stars of the game from the land of the morning calm.
Born to mother Jiao Zhimin and father Ahn Jae-hyung, who are both Olympic table-tennis medallists, An stole the limelight when he won his first title at the BMW PGA Championship and became the first Asian to be named Rookie of the Year on the European Tour in 2015.
“Si Woo and I often play practice rounds together on the PGA Tour. We get along really well. I thought it made sense to pick him as he’s the next highest ranked player from Korea,” said An, who also became the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Amateur at the age of 17 in 2009.
Like An, the 23-year-old Kim boasts an illustrious career where he has claimed two victories on the PGA Tour and one on the Web.com Tour since turning joining the play-for-pay ranks in 2012.
Kim served notice of his talents at the 2012 PGA Tour Qualifying School when he became the youngest player, at the age of 17 years and five months, to make the grade.
However, due to PGA Tour rules, he could only become a member after he turned 18, midway through the 2013 season.
“Ben (An) and I are really good friends. We always joke around. I am just hoping to have fun that week. I am not playing for myself. I am playing for Team Korea so I hope to do my country proud by playing well. I feel proud to be able to represent my country in the event,” said Kim.
“It definitely gives me more pride and motivation to play well. Ben is a really good player. He hits it far. His short game is very good too. I think we will be a good match. I think we will put up a good teamwork that week,” he added.
Kim came agonizingly close to clinching his third PGA Tour title at the RBC Heritage in April where he was defeated by Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira on the third extra hole.
Team Korea will be one of the 28 teams vying for top honours at the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf, which is celebrating its 59th edition from 22-25 November.
The ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf is one of five tournaments that are co-sanctioned by the International Federation of PGA Tours, joining the four events in the World Golf Championships series as tournaments which the Federation oversees. The International Federation of PGA Tours is an organization made up of all Tours from across the globe including the PGA TOUR, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, the PGA of Australia, the Asian Tour, South African Tour and more.
Tickets are now on sale and ticket options range from Wednesday practice round tickets starting at $16.00, single-day competitive round tickets starting at $24.00 and tickets to the upgraded MacKenzie Club (Thurs-Sun) starting at $80.00. Weekly tickets are also available for $96, with a MacKenzie Club option priced at $295. Fans are encouraged to secure their tickets early in order to save.
Ticket buyers are reminded that youth under the age of 16 are admitted to the event free of charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult. To purchase tickets or find more information on ticket options, fans can log on to www.WorldCupofGolf.com.
For more information about the 2018 ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf, please visit WorldCupofGolf.com.
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