Teen golf titan Noh to aim for Major glory

Teen Korean golf star Noh Seung-Yul says he hopes to become the second Asian to win a Major.

Kuala Lumpur: Teen Korean golf star Noh Seung-Yul says he hopes to become the second Asian to win a Major, following in the footsteps of compatriot Yang Yong-Eun who sprang a shock upset over Tiger Woods in the 2009 PGA Championship.

Noh became Asia’s youngest ever Order of Merit champion at the age of 19 years and 204 days in 2010 after driving his way to one victory and four other top-10s during a sparkling season which also saw him post two impressive performances at the Majors.

It culminated an amazing rise to the top for Noh, who made his entry onto the Asian Tour after earning his card from Qualifying School in 2008 as a 16-year-old and went on to win his maiden professional title the same year.

“To become the youngest Asian Tour number one, it’s very nice,” said Noh, who was unable to attend Sunday’s awards gala after undergoing corrective laser eye surgery.

“But in the future, there may be other younger players who will become younger than me at 19 years old to win the Order of Merit,” he said.

“In five years time, I want to start contending in the Majors. I am not in a hurry but I would like to become the second Asian to win a Major.

“The Order of Merit victory will get me into the British Open next year and if I stay in the top-100 in the world, I will also qualify for the PGA Championship and I will try to qualify for the US Open as well.”

Noh said competing on the Asian Tour helped him sharpen his professional teeth where impressive displays earned him praise from his peers and the likes of Greg Norman and Padraig Harrington.

“Playing on the Asian Tour helped me a lot as we play in different countries and different courses,” said the Korean.

“I had to adapt to the changes in grass, food and travelling which I think is important for a golfer.”

Noh is setting his sights on Europe for 2011.

“Next year, I want to focus on trying to win in Europe. I would also like to play on the US Tour as I think all the top players want to play there,” he said.

Norman, Australia’s greatest ever player, said of Noh: “He’s an impressive young player. He’s got a big future.”

Bureau Report

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