US Amateur champion Gunn Yang will tee off with Peter Lonard tomorrow in the Mazda NSW Open being played at Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club.
Little known Korean, Yang, burst onto the international amateur golf scene when he became an unlikely champion at the US Amateur in August.
Starting the week ranked 776 in the world; Yang emerged victorious over 312 qualifiers ultimately defeating Canadian Corey Conners 2 & 3 in the final where he never trailed.
With a trip to Augusta National for The Masters now booked, Yang is playing as many Tour events as he can to earn experience.
“It’s amazing to be in Pro events. I’m always learning, trying to find my weaknesses and where I need to improve. Just trying to become a better player that it my goal,” said Yang.
“It’s always hard to play against Pros, everyone is always in shape, they are good enough to be on the Tour but I am trying to do my best this week.”
“The Masters is going to be another different level again but this week is definitely going to help, I need to get used to playing against the Pros.”
Already this year Yang has played with Adam Scott in the Japan Open and this week he will play with Peter Lonard at the Mazda NSW Open.
“I played in a couple of Tour events this fall; it was the KJ Choi Invitaitonal and Japan Open. I missed the cut in both of them so I am really hoping to make the cut this week,” added Yang.
“I never expected to play with Adam Scott, it was an amazing experience.”
“I am looking forward to playing with Peter Lonard at the NSW Open and Ashley Hall is in our group so it’s going to be a fun week.”
PGA Tour of Australasia tournaments, including the Mazda NSW Open Championship, provide up and coming players the opportunity to learn and develop their game against some of Australia’s most experienced Professionals.
Peter Lonard, a PGA Tour winner and nine time PGA Tour of Australasia winner, believes there is no better preparation than competition.
“There is so much more to playing professionally than just being a good golfer,” said Lonard.
“You have to travel, eat different foods, go to different countries, get off planes and be able to play well. It’s a learning process to deal with all those things outside of your game.”
“As far as amateurs playing professional tournaments I think it’s good for them.”
“It teaches them to be professional, it’s a good learning process and I think it will be good for them long term.”
Groups to watch….
7.15am 1st Nathan Green (NSW), Matthew Millar (ACT), Michael Long (NZL)
7.15am 10th Ashley Hall (VIC), Gunn Yang (am) (KOR), Peter Lonard (NSW)
7.25am 1st Adam Crawford (QLD), Andre Stolz (NSW), Jarrod Freeman (am) (NSW)
7.25am 10th James Nitties (NSW), Cameron Davis (am) (NSW), Ryan Lynch (VIC)
For all tee times please click here.
The Mazda NSW Open Championship will be played at Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club in Western Sydney from 13 – 16 November.
Being played for a prize purse of AU$100,000 the winner also receives Official World Golf Ranking Points and becomes fully exempt on to the PGA Tour of Australasia for the remainder of this season plus a further two years.