Here's a heartwarming sporting story to start the day; Kevin Tutty from the Press reports:
When Jason Yoo learnt yesterday morning that a former training partner, Craig Choi, was returning to Christchurch for the New Zealand Open, he asked his coach, Peter Davis, if he could caddy for Choi.
Yoo made the request just before he started the 18-hole final qualifying tournament for the New Zealand Open at the Russley Golf Club.
When he finished four-and-a-half hours later, Yoo was in the open field himself.
In doing so, Yoo, at 15, became one of the youngest players to qualify for the New Zealand Open.
The youngest was Jae An, now playing on the Korean Tour. He was 13 years 332 days old when he qualified in 2002, the year Tiger Woods played Paraparaumu. Korean-born Yoo, a pupil at Christ's College, was worried that he might not perform in the qualifying tournament.
For the past few weeks, his NCEA examinations have taken precedence and golf practice has been on hold.
However, he need not have worried. Yoo shot 71 on the par-72 Russley layout yesterday to make the field with a shot to spare.
He was in the last group and wondered why there were about a dozen people standing in front of the scoreboard. He learnt when he returned his card that his 71 had put paid to the chances of 11 players on 73 who thought they would be playing off for the 19th – and last – spot in the field.
Young Asian golfers are an important part of the future development of New Zealand golf. Whilst players like Danny Lee, back on the PGA Tour next year and top amateur women Lydia Ko and Cecelia Cho hog the headlines, there are plenty of other young Asian players in our schools getting a Kiwi education, and learning their craft on some of the best facilities to be found anywhere. It's significant that Danny Lee plays his golf in the USA and Europe as a New Zealander, and with our professional golfing stocks a little light at the moment, his participation at the highest level as a Kiwi is great.
We hadn't heard of Jason Yoo previously, but we will be following his progress at Clearwater with much interest now that he will be caddied for rather than caddying. We wish him every success both this week and into the future.