AUSTRALIA’S Andre Stolz will fly half way round the world to play in next week’s Kolon Korea Open as he bids to maintain his number one spot on the OneAsia tour.
Stolz, a two-time winner on OneAsia this season, is competing in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland this week and has changed his schedule to include the Kolon Korea Open.
He made a similarly long journey from the United States to tee it up at the US$1 million Thailand Open in August, a decision that paid dividends with his second victory of the season following his triumph in the Indonesia PGA Championship.
Snaring the first prize of US$180,000 saw Stolz forge ahead of world number 22 Kim Kyung-tae in the OneAsia Order of Merit.
“This could be my last OneAsia event in Asia until the Aussie ones – I have got a fair bit of stuff on. I came here feeling like I better make some money. I better have a good week and try and get on top of the moneylist as Kim Kyung-tae is a great player,” said Stolz after his Thailand Open victory.
However, he has decided to take on Korea’s best on home soil at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club from October 6-9.
” I’ve played this course before so I know where I’m going and what to expect,” he said. “The challenge will be my late arrival from the Dunhill Links and not having had a practice round before the tournament.
Stolz will face a tough task with the field including defending champion Y. E. Yang, young American star Rickie Fowler and world number three Rory McIlroy.
“I feel I can win every week now [on OneAsia],” Stolz said. “I have always been hot and cold but when I get in the mood that I am playing good I am hard to stop.
“At the start of the year I was not thinking about the Order of Merit but with more than half the season gone I have a chance of winning it.
“Winning a moneylist anywhere in the world is a great achievement and it would be nice to win this one.”
The rise to OneAsia’s number one spot is the continuation of a remarkable comeback for Stolz, a former winner on the US PGA Tour who emerged from retirement just two and a half years ago.
In 2005 a nagging wrist injury forced him to stop playing for nearly three years.
Australian Matthew Griffin, who recently won his maiden title at the South Pacific Open, and McIlroy will be among the players joining Stolz in the long trek from Scotland to Korea.
The Korea Open will likely be telecast on TEN ONE HD in Australia. Check guides.