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Year of Yang? The only Asian golfer to win a major feels good about 2015

Y.E. Yang, better known as Yang Yong-eun to Koreans, first caught the public eye in 2007 when he won the HSBC Champions Tournament on the Asian Tour. Most notably, he beat the then-unbeatable Tiger Woods down the stretch by two strokes.

In 2009, Yang proved his victory two years before wasn’t a fluke when he achieved two feats that shot him to stardom within the golf world and the Korean community.

Not only did he become the first Asian golfer to win a major at The PGA Championship, but he also was the first golfer to ever beat Tiger Woods in a major championship when Woods held a 54-hole lead.

Lately, Yang has been trying to find that same swing that brought him his fame and success. So much so that he was unable to attain his PGA Tour card during the Q-School event.

Things turned around though when he came in fourth after six rounds of the Japan Tour’s Q-School earning him his card for the 2015 season.

Yang recently sat down with Yonhap and spoke about his journey so far.

Q: Now that it’s the end of the end of the year and the PGA Tour season, how do you feel?

A: I haven’t been scoring well. For the last one to two years, I’ve been working hard at home, but in the end, my game wasn’t good enough to get back onto the PGA Tour.

Q: The Japan Tour Q-School was last week. What is it like as a professional having to go through Q-School?

A: I’ve been doing this professionally for almost 19 years and Q-School is always a big burden for the players.

Q: What’s your most memorable moment in Q-School?

A: In 2008, I played at the PGA West for Q-School and I remember on the final hole, I hit a shot that got plugged into a bunker. Luckily I played well enough to get my card and win a major the following year.

Q: What was your situation like after you had won?

A: After winning the major, many things changed. I started getting all kinds of sponsorships, but now it’s quite the opposite. I’m only sponsored for golf balls and clubs. I may not even have a logos on my hat or bag next year. It will be like when I debuted in 1999.

Q: What was it like back then?

A: Professional golf in Korea was much different back in 1999. I had won 9 tournaments, but made ₩18 million ($16,300). After tournament fees and taxes that came out to much less. So at the time it made sense to teach as well. I could make ₩30 million ($27,300) a year doing that. When I won the major, I had made about ₩1 billion ($9 million) so as you can imagine it’s completely different now.

Q: How will you prepare for the next season?

A: I’ve made some swing changes, which have to do mostly with how I rotate my shoulders. I’ve been strengthening my lower body and shoulders. You’ll see it once I’m out there.

Q: What is your schedule like?

A: I’ll obviously be playing quite a few events on the Japan Tour, but as a PGA major winner, I will still be eligible to play in four or five PGA events.

Q: Many fans are rooting for you to make a big comeback after your major win in 2009. Is there anything you want to tell these fans?

A: I won’t say that I will win right away, but things are about to change for the better. I hope that I will win at least four or five times on the Japan Tour and once or twice on the PGA Tour this year.

via Year of Yang? The only Asian golfer to win a major feels good about 2015 – The Korea Times.

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