The Story Behind Yang's Victory

Filed under: , by: golf clubs showcase

If YE Yang's father had had his way, his son would never have played golf, let alone stunned the golfing world by beating their favourite son.

But going against all the wishes of his father, Yang Han-joon , a lowly vegetable farmer, YE Yang or Yang Yong-eun as he is known at home, left behind him a farmer's life and all the other sports he had played as a youth - baseball, basketball, soccer and volleyball - and at the impossibly late age of 19, picked up and hit, for the first time, a club (an iron) at the driving range of the posh country club where he worked at the low-paying job of collecting balls.

It seems he was immediately smitten. and started hitting hundreds of balls in the evening after the range had closed and all the patrons had gone, endlessly dreaming of becoming a professional golfer.

Father Yang was not impressed that his son, already an adult and long past the age where the great players like Tiger Woods had first had cut-down golf clubs thrust into their chubby. little boy's hands by eager parents, should even be thinking of trying to make a living in this sport of the wealthy.

"Golf is for rich people. Why are you trying to become a golfer? Please don't do it," Yang has recalled his father saying as he begged him not to pursue his newest passion.

But Yang was hooked.

He stuck to his guns and, ironically, today after his stunning defeat of the hot favourite Woods US PGA Championship at Hazeltine National, he has probably earned more in his short time since qualifying for the US Tour nine months ago ($3.2 million including his earnings of $1.35 million at Hazeltine).than his father has earned in an entire life time of farming.

What none of us knew, though, was that Yang had studied Tiger over and over for years and visualized a way of beating him that was brilliantly successful,

For while he was always the picture of calm and control heading down the closing stretch, Tiger looked very human indeed.

Yes Yang had confounded them all - including his once so doubtful father who is now happily ensconced at the luxury golf destination that is the Ora Country Club, on the resort island of Jeju with the Yang clan that now includes YE's wife and three sons.

Yang senior knows now he was wrong in trying to get YE to join him in the fields, telling Associated Press, "I had no idea what golf was. That's why I was opposed to it."

Yang's mother, Ko Hee-soon, felt differently. Her son was determined to leave their hard life of drudgery behind and she supported him.

"When we urged him to go into farming, he would say, 'I'm not going to live like my father,'" she remembers.

Golf coach Kim Won-jun, 43, is convinced that it is Yang's nerves of steel under pressure that put him head and shoulders above his peers.

"I personally know Yang, and what most distinguishes him from other players is his emotional stability," he said.

Yang is certainly not without emotion. The world saw that when he exploded with joy after he had sunk the winning putt on Sunday.

But, as his coach says: "He is in total control during the game, so when he has the chance, he is able to immediately seize it."

We are going to see a lot more of him still, especially now that he has so firmly planted the flag for the emerging Asian continent.

Clubs in YE Yang's bag:

Golf Driver: TaylorMade r7 Limited (8.5°) with Aldila NV 75X shaft
Golf Fairway Woods: 13 degree TaylorMade Burner and 18 degree TaylorMade V Steel (18°) with Honma ARMRQ golf shafts