POSTED: Tuesday October 27th 2009


Ballantine’s has announced it is extending its title sponsorship by three years through to the 2013 event.

Korean hero Yang Yong Eun will make an emotional return to his birthplace after being unveiled as the first star player in the 2010 Ballantine’s Championship.


Asia’s first Major winner will be teeing it up with a host of other world-class players when the €2.1 million event is staged at Pinx Golf Club in Jeju – the island of his birth – from 22-25 April.


And in another huge boost for the tournament, Ballantine’s has announced it is extending its title sponsorship by three years through to the 2013 event.


Yang, who appeared at the tournament’s launch press conference in Seoul today (27 October), will be making his first playing appearance in Jeju since his PGA Championship triumph in August.


“I’m delighted to be appearing in what promises to be a fantastic Ballantine’s Championship next April,” he said.


“Not only am I looking forward to playing, it will also be a chance for me to thank the Korean fans who have given me such incredible support during my career. It will be a real honour to play in front of them as Asia’s first Major winner.


“It is especially pleasing that the tournament is once again being held at Pinx Golf Club in Jeju, the island of my birth. It is going to be a very special homecoming for me and I hope to give a performance to match.


“It is also tremendous news that Ballantine’s has signed a three-year title sponsorship extension. It is tournaments like this, with world class players and significant support from the business world, that help the golf boom in Korea and ensure more young players come through to play on the big stage.”


Yang made history two months ago when he fended off the challenge of world No.1 Tiger Woods to clinch the PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, by three shots. In doing so, he denied Woods his 15th Major success and dented the American’s previously perfect record of turning 14 third-round Major leads into victories.


It was Yang’s second success of the year on US soil. In March he shot a final-round two-under-par 68 to win the Honda Classic by one stroke over John Rollins for his first PGA Tour victory.


He first leapt into the global spotlight in 2006 when he held off an elite field, including the impressive chasing pack of Major winners Michael Campbell, Retief Goosen and Woods, to win the HSBC Champions event in Shanghai.


“We are delighted to secure Yang for the 2010 Ballantine’s Championship, having just extended the sponsorship deal for another three years,” commented Christian Porta, Chairman and CEO of brand owner Chivas Brothers.


“His signing symbolises the growing synergy between Ballantine’s and golf in Korea, and marks our commitment to drive the collaboration between Ballantine’s and golf forward.”


Yang is just the first of many star names the organisers expect to confirm in the build-up to the 2010 tournament.


The Ballantine’s Championship, the first European Tour event to be played in Korea and co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Korea PGA, will return to Pinx Golf Club for the third successive year.


The inaugural tournament in 2008 was won by Northern Irish star Graeme McDowell, who beat India’s Jeev Milkha Singh on the third extra hole of a thrilling playoff.


Last year’s tournament also went to a playoff, with Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee sinking a six-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to edge out Spain’s Gonzalo Fernández-Casta?o and Korean youngster Kang Sung Hoon.


“These are boom times for Asian golf in general and Korean golf in particular,” said Martin Capstick, managing director of event promoter Parallel Media Group. “Yang is an iconic figure in his home country and his appearance in the 2010 Ballantine’s Championship will be a great chance for fans to welcome him back and watch him in action.


“And it is fantastic news that Ballantine’s are extending their title sponsorship for three years beyond next year’s event. While much has been said in the media about the current global economic climate and sponsorship in sport, their commitment to the event and Korean golf is there for all to see.


“The Ballantine’s Championship has been a huge success story to date and we look forward to that continuing for many years to come.”





About Ballantine’s


Korea’s favourite Scotch, Ballantine’s, is also the No.1 Scotch whisky range across the Asia Pacific region (17 years old and above – IWSR) and the No.2 Scotch whisky brand in the world. Ballantine’s has won over 60 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality, as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine’s Finest to the iconic 30 Year Old, is the most extensive in the world and is maintained by the latest in a tradition of master blenders that dates back to 1827.


Ballantine’s is the title sponsor of the Ballantine’s Championship and an official sponsor of both the Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China and the Barclay’s Scottish Open held in Loch Lomond, Scotland.


Released on behalf of the Ballantine’s Championship by Two Up Front.


For further information about the Ballantine’s Championship, please contact:

Niall Donnelly                           

Two Up Front                                               

Tel:        +852 2854 2136                                 

Mob:      +852 6052 3330                                 

Fax:       +852 3579 5955                                 



Vivian Pau

Two Up Front

Tel:         +852 2110 5890

Mob:       +852 6055 4122

Fax:        +852 3579 5955


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Keywords · Yang Yong Eun · Ballantine · 2010 Ballantine’s Championship · golf

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