“I like the course environment and the treatment,” says Ji-ho Yang as he travels around Japan with his ‘caddie’ wife
Yang Ji Ho, 34, who plays on both the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour and the Japan Golf Tour (JGTO), has been making waves with his wife as his caddie.
His wife, Kim Yoo-jung, caddied for him when he won the KB Financial Livechampionship in May last year, his first victory in 14 years on the Korean Tour, and when he topped the Hana Bank Invitational, a joint KPGA-JGTO event, in June.
Since winning the Hana Bank Invitational and earning a two-year JGTO seeding, the couple has been traveling back and forth to Japan together.
“Japan is easy to get to from Korea, and the course conditions and treatment are very good,” said Yang on Friday at the Phoenix Country Club in Miyazaki, Japan, a day before the start of the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament (¥200 million in prize money), which is the JGTO’s “premier event”.
“I thought I would continue to do well after winning in June, but I got a little greedy. There were times when I wasn’t feeling well, but I think my greed got the better of me.” “I’m trying to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch, and I’m getting better. I’m trying to go back to the drawing board and start from scratch, and I’m getting better.”
The Dunlop Phoenix Tournament, which begins on Saturday, is a tournament that Yang is eagerly anticipating.
Organized by his club contractor, Dunlop, the tournament not only boasts a huge prize fund but also a history of world-class players, including ‘golfing emperor’ Tiger Woods (USA). This year’s field includes “major champions” Brooks Koepka and Wyndham Clarke (USA).
This is Yang’s first time competing in the tournament, having won the Japanese second-tier tour in 2012 and playing on the Japanese first-tier tour before this year.
“It’s a traditional tournament and one of the top tournaments in Japan, so I’ve always wanted to come out, but I didn’t have a chance because of the limited number of entries, so I’m very excited and feel good for the first time,” he said.
“As soon as I saw Koepka yesterday, I went up to him and asked for his autograph. I’ve never done that before, but I wasn’t in a position to be embarrassed,” Yang laughed, emphasizing that “seeing such great players motivates me and makes me think, ‘I’m playing with them, too,'” he said.
“Part of me wants to play in the last group with Koepka, but the greedier I get, the worse it is. I’m aiming for around 30th, and if the opportunity comes, I’ll take it.”
On the course, he said: “There are a lot of trees and once you get into them, it’s hard to get out, so the tee shot is really important. The greens are very fast and flowing, so I’m going to try to keep it as short as possible.”
Yang, who will be caddying with his wife for the tournament, said, “There are far more advantages than disadvantages to having my wife caddying for me,” but he also said that he is thinking about getting a professional caddie from next year because he doesn’t want to continue his grueling tour life.
He smiled and said, “If I have a professional caddie, my wife can follow me to the gallery, and if it gets too difficult, I will ask her to do it once in a while.” 먹튀검증