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In-form Wang heads to Queen’s Cup with aim to be King of Asian Tour

golf icon isn 4Sentosa, Singapore: Korea’s newest golf star Jeunghun Wang has vowed to put all his focus on winning the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown starting with an appearance at the Queen’s Cup in Samui next week.

The 20-year-old Wang enjoyed a magnificent spell last month by winning back-to-back titles in Morocco and Mauritius, becoming the youngest player in European Tour history to achieve the feat.

With the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open being sanctioned by the Asian Tour, Wang now occupies second place on the Merit list behind leader Marcus Fraser of Australia and the slender Korean has made known his intention to finish as the region’s number one by the end of 2016.

“I want to try to become the number one player in Asia. I’ll try to play in more Asian Tour events compared to the European Tour as my focus is to win the Order of Merit,” said Wang, who has earned US$470,338 on the Asian Tour this season.

“Now that I already have my card in Europe, becoming number one in Asia is important as it comes with a five-year Tour exemption and then you get into Majors like the British Open. It will be a good thing to achieve.”

Wang flew home to Seoul earlier this week for some down time after completing a hectic seven-week tournament run which took him from Japan and across the globe to Sweden. He birdied the 18th hole three times during the final round of the Trophee Hassan II for his first European Tour victory and then birdied the last hole in Mauritius to become the first Asian to win back-to-back European Tour titles.

At age 20 years and 263 days, he also became the youngest player to win consecutive European Tour events, beating the previous record of Seve Ballesteros, who was 21 years and 119 days in 1978.

“I still can’t believe I’d won two straight tournaments. I just want to enjoy the wins but I have not celebrated … there’s been no time as I went to Ireland, England and Sweden after those wins. Now that I’m home this week, I will try to celebrate. But I’m really tired now and will just aim to rest up for the Queen’s Cup,” said Wang.

“I think God was helping me (in Morocco) and I don’t remember those three birdies on 18. I was really nervous actually, but I just putted and won. I got a lot of confidence after winning and it really helped me in Mauritius.

“My dad actually wanted me to go straight to Ireland (for the Irish Open the following week) but I told him I wanted to go to Mauritius because it was co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour and I wanted to improve my ranking in Asia. I also wanted to try to win again straight after Morocco as my confidence was up.”

Wang has finished 38th, sixth and 20th in three previous visits to the Santiburi Samui Country Club, host venue of the Queen’s Cup which is held in honour of Queen Sirikit. He said he was always planning to play on the famous holiday isle.

“I’ve played in Samui a few times. I like the golf course and that’s why I’m going to play there. It’s perfect conditions and I’m away from the cold of Europe!” he quipped.

Eight-time Asian Tour winner Scott Hend of Australia, ranked fifth on the Order of Merit, is also amongst the top headliners competing in the Queen’s Cup which starts from June 16 to 19.

Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng will defend his title with other top local stars such as Prom Meesawat and two-time winner Thaworn Wiratchant also in the fray for the popular Asian Tour event, which is the 10th leg of the season.


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