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Major winner Yang joins elite field

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Korea’s Y. E. Yang, the only male player from Asia to win a Major, will play in next week’s SMBC Singapore Open, organisers confirmed today.

Yang, who famously outduelled Tiger Woods to lift the US PGA Championship in 2009, has received an invitation to compete in the US$1 million tournament at Sentosa Golf Club from January 18-21.

He joins fellow Major winners Sergio Garcia of Spain, the reigning Masters champion, and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen, winner of the 2010 Open Championship, in the elite field.

In-form Pat Perez of the United States, the current leader of the FedEx Cup standings, and Malaysia’s Gavin Green and Japan’s Yusaku Miyazato, the respective number ones on the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation in 2017, will also vie for the title won last year by Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand.

Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa also confirmed at the weekend he will be competing.

Yang, who turns 46 on Monday (January 15), wrote his name into the history books with his stunning victory in the US PGA Championship.

In an absorbing contest, he rallied from two strokes behind heading into the final round to beat playing partner Woods by three shots.

The Korean also has top-10 finishes at the Masters and the US Open to his credit and won the Champions in Shanghai before it became a World Golf Championship event.

He has won 11 tournaments worldwide in a storied career that has seen him rise from hitting balls after hours at a driving range where he worked to winning a Major.

A four-time winner on the JGTO, Yang returned to Q-School last December and finished in top spot.

Another notable Korean player in the field is Song Younghan, who edged then world number one Jordan Spieth of the United States by a shot to win the title in 2016 before finishing joint runner-up last year.

The SMBC Singapore Open is the opening event of 2018 on both the Asian Tour and the JGTO.

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