Woods coach has Noh eyeing top 30
29 Oct 2012 - 01:47:39
An instant improvement under Tiger Woods' coach Sean Foley has South Korean sensation Noh Seung-Yul eyeing the top 30 and his first PGA Tour win after an encouraging rookie season in America.
The lean 21-year-old made an indifferent start to PGA life with a clutch of missed cuts, but since pairing with Foley in March he's had three top-10 finishes and has been among the best 20 in half of his tournaments.
Noh, who has spent time with Asian Major-winner Y.E. Yang as he adapts to life in the States, said he felt ready to make an impression on the PGA Tour next year and improve his ranking of 86.
"(Next year) I want to do better than this year, and try to win a tournament, and make the Tour Championship, and try also to get top 30 in the world rankings," he said in an interview at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.
Noh won the Malaysian Open in 2010 on his way to being crowned the Asian Tour's youngest merit champion. He earned his PGA Tour card at qualifying school last year.
Now he said "little changes" made by Foley to his swing had had a big effect on his game, giving him more variety and control.
"I used to have a little right to left draw, but always just one way. Now I can hit both way, hit the fade and the draw more, control the iron shots so I get a lot of good birdie chances," said Noh.
Noh, who had rounds of 71, 66, 67 and 66 at the CIMB Classic to finish tied 14th, spoke glowingly about conditions in the United States.
"In the US, everything is perfect. In the golf course, outside the golf course, I always like it. In the US they clean your shoes and the laundry and everything is free, and they give us courtesy cars. I like that," he said.
Fellow South Korean stars Yang, K.J. Choi and Bae Sang-Moon have helped Noh adapt to life in the United States, by giving him tips about his game -- and where to find Korean food.
"Y.E.'s helping me all the time with my game and also outside the course, showing me Korean restaurants. I'm there for the first time so I don't know where the Korean restaurants are," he said.
And Noh added that he was already making plans for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where golf will return to the Games -- partly because a medal would exempt him from military service.
"For Korean people it's important because of the military service," he said. "Every young player is trying to get into the Olympic Games. If I win an Olympic bronze medal, I'll be exempted, so maybe I'll try for that.
"Maybe I'll delay it (military service) until I'm 30, 31, so I'll try two times at the Olympics."