Yang out to shine in China
Korean looking to build on Masters top-10 in Suzhou
Last Updated: 14/04/10 5:45pm
Yang and his caddie discuss a shot at Augusta
Korea's YE Yang admits he will head into this week's China Open in high spirits after his top-10 finish at the Masters last week.
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The 2009 USPGA Championship winner finished tied for eighth at Augusta and is arguably the most in-form player heading to the Gary Player designed Jinji Lakes International Golf Club in Suzhou, just outside of Shanghai this week.
Henrik Stenson, Graeme McDowell, Oliver Wilson and Thongchai Jaidee will also be teeing it up in China, although none of them managed to survive the halfway cut at Augusta, with Jaidee forced out by injury.
By contrast Yang is full of confidence and looking to put in another big display back in his home continent.
"I was a good finish at the Masters and that is two top-10 finishes in the last two majors so that feels really good," stated the 38-year-old.
"Overall, I feel really good. It took a long time to travel from Augusta, but I am rested. It's great to be back in Asia and hopefully I perform as well as I feel."
Stenson searching for form
At 16 in the world, Stenson is the highest-ranked player in the field but accepts he arrives in China struggling for form.
"I haven't played well this season," said the Swede whose only top-ten this year arrived at the Dubai Desert Classic at the start of February.
"I had some good work before Augusta, which didn't work out. Hopefully it will this week and next week in Korea. It feels like it is moving in the right direction.
"My confidence is low but hopefully I've made the turning point and I would hope to see myself contending this Sunday."
Australia's Scott Strange returns to defend the title he won 12 months ago at the Beijing CBD International Golf Club.
However, he concedes that defending over a different course will see him surrender some of his advantage over the field.
"It's always nice to defend your title, it's just a shame it's not the same course as I lose my advantage of knowing the ins and outs," declared Strange.
"It's quite unique what they have done here with the links on the back nine and the water on the front nine. It's probably the first time I have played a water parklands course into links.
"It's hard to find scoring holes at the moment as it's so cold and the holes are playing so long so hopefully when it warms up the par fives become reachable and the shorter holes you can play in with an wedge instead of an eight or nine iron."
Another fascinating side-show this week is the presence of European and US Ryder Cup captains Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin.
The duo will play together, along with Jaidee, for the opening two rounds and Montgomerie is looking forward to his first battle of the year with his American counterpart.
"We are playing together which should be interesting," said the Scot. "It doesn't really matter what Corey and I do, it matters for our teams in October, but it is always nice to play each other. It will be competitive."