An prepares for WGC-Bridgestone
Following his maiden win on the European Tour, An Byeong-hun is making his WCG-Bridgestone debut this weekend.
The South Korean won the European Tour’s flagship tournament, the BMW PGA Championship, by an impressive six strokes in May, thus gaining entry into the World Golf Championships.
Since then, the Orlando resident has had a tough time in the course, missing cuts at the US Open and The Open Championship, with a tied for 21st at the Open de France being his best finish.
Nonetheless, An is excited to be amongst a top quality field at the Firestone Country Club this weekend.
“It’s a limited field which includes 48 of the top 50 in the world, so it’s a huge week,” the 23-year-old told europentour.com.
“In many ways it is as big as the Majors, because there is no other qualifying to get in other than being in the top 50 or winning a big event. I’m looking forward to it. It’s a good course, and a good field, so I can’t wait to play.”
An revealed that he wasn’t taking any chances, as he arrived early in Akron to get a good number of practice rounds in on the Firestone South course.
“This tournament has been here forever but I’m the rookie, so I’m here early,” he added.
“I always play Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and I’m trying to keep to my plans. There aren’t many guys here yet, but hopefully I will get to play with someone experienced and learn a few things from them.”
“There are no extra expectations from me. I’m trying not to put pressure on myself. I have goals, but not expectations.”
An burst onto the golfing scene as a fresh-faced 17-year-old, who became the youngest winner of the US Amateur in 2009. Since turning professional in 2011, An has notched up two wins, the other being a the Rolex Trophy title on the Challenge Tour in 2014.
However, the world number 58 knows he is just starting the long road of professional golf and believes that big events like WGC-Bridgestone will only help him develop.
“I still have a long way to go in my progression as a player,” continued An.
“But playing in bigger events will help with that. This is a big opportunity for me. I’ve played in The Open, I’ve got the US PGA Championship next week, and now my first WGC. The victory at Wentworth opened up a lot of things for me and I’m really enjoying it so far.
“Winning the BMW PGA Championship has definitely given me more confidence in playing events like this. It is a similar status tournament to a WGC in many ways. I played so well that week at Wentworth, winning by six shots from good players like Thongchai Jaidee and Francesco Molinari, and it means I know I can do well in tournaments as big as this. Hopefully this week, if I play well, I can compete again.”
Adam Scott relishing chance to experience a career first at the Australian Open
The tournament sees men, women and golfers with disabilities competing on the same course at the same time.
Tiger Woods backs up Rory McIlroy and says LIV Golf boss Greg Norman ‘has to go’
Woods called McIlroy a ‘true leader’ as he spoke out about the Saudi-funded breakaway.
Tiger Woods withdraws from Hero World Challenge due to foot problem
The former world number one has not played since the Open Championship in July.
Tiger Woods to partner son Charlie in next month’s PNC Championship
Woods has not played since the Open Championship in July.
I want to fulfil my dreams – Adam Scott in no mood to lower expectations
Scott is seeking a third Australian PGA Championship title this week in his native Queensland.
Nicolas Colsaerts named a vice-captain for Europe’s Ryder Cup team
The Belgian joins Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari on Luke Donald’s staff.
Ireland’s Ancient East: Golf attractions alongside stunning beauty of Kildare
Ireland has a rich mix of tourist attractions across its varied and beautiful terrain.
Rory McIlroy crowned top golfer in Europe despite Jon Rahm claiming Dubai title
The Spaniard’s two-shot victory over England’s Tyrrell Hatton and Sweden’s Alex Noren was his third in six years at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Leona Maguire shoots day’s best to tie Lydia Ko in chasing LPGA’s largest prize
Maguire is chasing her second title while Ko is close to claiming her second straight LPGA Tour player of the year.
Rory McIlroy edges ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick in race to be European number one
McIlroy’s third round of 65 at the DP World Tour Championship put him back ahead of his rival in the rankings.