World No. 2 Brooks Koepka to play at PGA Tour event in S. Korea

September 20, 2018

SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) — World No. 2 Brooks Koepka will play at the only PGA Tour event in South Korea next month, the event’s organizers said Thursday.

CJ Group, the host of the CJ Cup@Nine Bridge, said Koepka, a three-time major champion, will join a strong field that also features defending champion Justin Thomas and 2015 PGA Championship winner Jason Day, both of them former world No. 1. Thomas committed to the tournament last Thursday.

This will be the second edition of the CJ Cup, which will be played at the Club at Nine Bridges on the southern resort island of Jeju from Oct. 18-21.

This promotional poster for the CJ Cup@Nine Bridges, provided by the organizer of the PGA Tour event, shows three of the top players in the field. From left: world No. 4 Justin Thomas, world No. 11 Jason Day, and world No. 2 Brooks Koepka. (Yonhap)

This promotional poster for the CJ Cup@Nine Bridges, provided by the organizer of the PGA Tour event, shows three of the top players in the field. From left: world No. 4 Justin Thomas, world No. 11 Jason Day, and world No. 2 Brooks Koepka. (Yonhap)

Koepka has won four times on the tour and three of those victories have come at majors. He has won the past two U.S. Opens and added a PGA Championship title last month.

Koepka said he was looking forward to playing at the CJ Cup for the first time.

“A lot of the players who played last year told me how much they enjoyed the tournament and spoke about how well it was run,” Koepka was quoted as saying in a PGA Tour press release. “It has been a phenomenal year and my wins at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship are certainly the highlights. Hopefully, I will continue this good form and give the Korean fans something to enjoy. I am excited to make my first visit to Korea and I plan to take in some of the many attractions that Jeju Island has to offer.”

Thomas, the 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year, said he’ll try to make his second visit to Jeju a memorable one.

“Any time you can go back to defend a title, it’s always good. I’ve got good memories from my win there last year and hopefully I can create new memories when I return in October,” Thomas told the PGA Tour. “The tournament was awesome. The first time you go out to play in a new event, you sometimes don’t know what you’re going to get but they treated us like rock stars. The golf course was great and the greens were perfect. With the conditions that we got over the four days, it was a really good test of golf.”

Other big names include: Ernie Els, four-time major champion and Hall of Famer; Adam Scott, former world No. 1 and 2013 Masters champion; and Stewart Cink, who won the 2009 Open Championship for his first major.

Former European Tour Rookie of the Year An Byeong-hun leads the South Korean contingent. He’s the top-ranked Korean at No. 46, eight spots ahead of two-time PGA winner Kim Si-woo, who will also play at the CJ Cup.

The organizers said 32 of the top 50 players on the FedEx Cup points standings have committed to the CJ Cup, seven more than last year.

In addition, seven of 24 players who will compete at the Ryder Cup at the end of this month will be in Jeju.

The tournament is also open to the top three South Korean players on the world rankings, the Asian Tour’s money leader, and the top three players in the Korea PGA Tour Player of the Year points race. All of these spots will be determined on Oct. 8.

 

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