You may not have heard the name of Sang-Moon Bae until this week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona, when he announced himself to world stage by knocking out Ian Poulter in the first round.
The 25-year-old from Dae Gu, South Korea, qualified for his first WGC event this week via his Official World Golf Ranking (44th) and dispatched one of the world’s best matchplay competitors in style, beating the Englishman 4&3.
Interestingly he also has previous with Ian Poulter, beating him by one shot to claim the 2008 Kolon-Hana Bank Korea Open, a title he successfully defended in 2009 and was won by Rickie Fowler last year.
He has two SK Telecom Open titles to his name and won three tournaments in 2011 on the Japan Tour, including the Japan Open, the Coca-Cola Tokai Classic and the Vana H Cup KBC Augusta, and claimed the Japan Tour’s Order of Merit title in the process.
Last year also saw the Korean earn his US PGA Tour card after finishing tied 11th in the PGA Tour Qualifier tournament. He has started his first full season on the PGA Tour successfully with a record of four starts and four cuts made. To date his most successful performance in the US is the tied 14th finish he recorded in the Humana Challenge at the end of January.
Bae has featured in three Majors so far in his career, making only one cut (2011 US Open), but 2012 promises to be an exciting year. His world ranking currently qualifies him to play in his first US Masters in April, while he will also be hoping to better his performance in last year’s Open, where he missed the cut.
First though is the second round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and standing in the way of a place in the third round is the US Masters champion, Charl Schwartzel. Regardless of if he gets past the South African, it seems a big future awaits the man, who grew up wanting to play professional baseball until his parents turned him onto golf.
See you at the Masters.