2016 has been a year to remember for Younghan Song. His dramatic Monday morning victory at the Singapore Open, over the then world number one Jordan Spieth, ranks up there just behind YE Yang’s incredible 2009 PGA Championship win over Tiger Woods.
What is even more impressive is how consistently Younghan played throughout the year. Jumping from 209th to 79th in the world rankings was a result of two second place finishes, one third, six more top ten’s and some very credible performances at the WGC events, as well as the PGA Championship – his major debut.
From 31 tournaments played in 2016, he only missed one cut. These stats further confirm that the so called ‘’Petite Prince’’ is on his way to becoming a major force in the golfing world. He may feel a little aggrieved to not have picked up another victory in 2016, but what may prove to be even more valuable in the long run, is how much his mentality towards the game would have been strengthened throughout the year.
He is developing into Korea’s answer to Padraig Harrington, (I’m Irish, so need to make a comparison to my home country!) who has had an endless amount of consistent strong performances, leading to numerous victories, including three Majors.
I strongly believe Younghan will be a multiple winner in 2017, and quite possibly end the year as Korea’s top player. I know that’s a big call with so much talent here at the moment, but let’s just wait and see what happens… I think the petite prince is about to become the Korean king!
Recently, Younghan offered up some time to answer a few questions. Here’s hoping the next time we can conduct a full interview in English (or Korean…)
Q: How satisfied are you with your 2016 season?
A: 2016 was a year in which I gained a lot of experience. Of course, I enjoyed the excitement of winning my first title, and luckily, it was even more meaningful, because it was against the number one in the world. It seems that 2016 was a year of great progress in my golf life.
Q: The obvious highlight was Singapore. You must be excited and confident returning there?
A: Yes, of course. Although, the winning feeling did not last as long as I thought. It made me more determined to continue improving my game and motivated me to try and win again.
Q: Do you have the Spieth selfie on your phone screen??
A: Ha-ha, of course. That is a picture I will never erase from my phone or memory!
Q: I notice you are learning Japanese at the moment, how’s that going?
A: Yes, but I have not studied as much as I want to. I still lack a lot of knowledge, but will continue to learn it and hopefully I will get better!
Q: What about English??
A: Ha-ha English… yes, you tell me…!
Q: Would you move to the European Tour if given the opportunity?
A: Of course, if you have a chance to advance to the bigger stage, you must take this opportunity to further challenge yourself.
Q: Do you agree that 2017 could be a Major year for Korean golf? It’s been too long…
A: Sure, why not?? Golf is still an emerging sport here in Korea, but it is true that Korean players are doing really well at the moment. Hopefully the high expectations for 2017 are fulfilled.
Q: Obviously a win is your number one goal this year, but if you could choose any tournament to win, which would it be?
A: I want to successfully defend my Singapore Open title. It would be fantastic to experience winning on a Sunday instead of Monday morning, but I would be more than happy to win any day! I would also like to win a matchplay tournament, as I think it is a true test of a golfer’s mentality. Winning the Shinan Open in Korea would certainly be a great achievement too, especially as they are my sponsors and it is played in front of my local supporters.
Q: Finally, imagine golf never existed. What job would you like to have??
A: Well, my father was a fighter pilot, so as I child, my dream was to follow him and become a pilot. Well, maybe… Ha-ha.
Younghan is certainly flying high at the moment and we expect to see him on top of many leaderboards throughout 2017.
First up, I suppose I better say hello and thank you for visiting my website, whoever you are. I teach, I write, I caddy, I write, I travel, I write. Mostly, about golf if that interests you. Usually interviews for various publications and blog about my caddy adventures.