The Asian Tour’s new and ground-breaking International Series of events will visit Korea for the first time this month for the International Series Korea boasting a formidable field with eight out of the top-10 on the Asian Tour Order of Merit competing.
Tour Order of Merit leader Korean-American Sihwan Kim, third-placed Bio Kim from Korea, and fourth ranked Scott Vincent from Zimbabwe will lead the way when the US$1.5 million tournament is played at Lotte Skyhill Jeju Country Club from August 18-21.
Sihwan Kim has claimed two titles this year, including the International Series Thailand in March, which was the first International Series event to be played, and the Trust Golf Asian Mixed Stableford Challenge, also in Thailand, in April; while Vincent won the International Series England, the Tour’s first-ever event staged in the UK.
Bio Kim has been playing some of the finest golf of his career and will be one of the hot favourites to claim the US$270,000 first place cheque on Jeju. In May he won his maiden Asian Tour title at the GS Caltex Maekyung Open, on home soil, and a month later he was triumphant in the SK Telecom Open – one of the biggest events on the Korean PGA Tour.
Korean Minkyu Kim, who currently leads the Korean PGA moneylist and is fifth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, will also compete. In June he showed why he is considered to be one of Korea’s most exciting young players when he recorded a brilliant victory in the Kolon Korea Open.
Thailand’s Sadom Kaewkanjana, sixth on the rankings having enjoyed a breakthrough season, will also play in Korea. He won the Singapore Open in January and produced a record setting performance in The Open at St Andrews last month, finishing joint 11th – the best performance by a player from his country in the game’s oldest Major.
Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond, the Tour’s number one player in 2019 and winner of six-titles on Tour, and his brilliant compatriot Phachara Khongwatmai, have also entered, as well as: India’s Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar; South African Justin Harding, Australians Wade Ormsby and Brett Rumford; plus Korean star Jeunghun Wang, the three-time DP World Tour champion, who has just completed 18-months national service in Korea.
The tournament will also welcome a host of prominent international players, including Americans Chase Koepka, the brother of four-time Major champion Brooks, and Peter Uihlein, and a number of the game’s rising stars who have recently turned professional: former US Amateur champions James Piot and Andy Ogletree from the US, American Turk Pettit, who claimed last year’s NCAA Division 1 individual title, Australian Jediah Morgan – winner of the Australian PGA Championship in January by a record 11 shots – and Jovan Rebula from South Africa, the 2018 Amateur Championship victor, and the nephew of South African great Ernie Els.
The Tour is in Indonesia this week, with the first round of the Mandiri Indonesia Open being played today at Pondok Indah Golf Course, before players head to the International Series Singapore at Tanah Merah Country Club next week.