I don't play golf but I watch it on TV and Korean golfer Y.E. Yang's Rocky-esque win of the 91st PGA championship was not lost on me.
Ranked 110th in the world and considered a 70 to 200 to 1 long shot, 37 year old Y.E. Yang did not play golf until age 19, did not enter serious competition until he completed his Korean military service four years later. He won major tournaments in Korea and Asia but dreamed of entering a major American tournament. He came to the US to enter a PGA golf qualifying school and came into the American golf scene when he won his first PGA tournament in the Honda Classic in March 2009.
I admire people who excel in their chosen vocation and watch them perform their job well. Y.E. Yang certainly excelled in his calm unassuming way. His goal was to play his best game and that he did and more. He is now a symbol for Asians and Koreans in particular that anyone can excel in a sport that was dominated by westerners.
Tiger Woods is Tiger Woods and we will always love him for the symbol of dedication, perseverance and excellence that he typifies. We will love him even more as he showed that he, too, can have a bad day at the office. But on Sunday, August 16,2009, at Hazeltine National Golf Club, the day belonged to Y.E. Yang who reminded us that when we work unceasingly to follow our dream, yes, we can.
"At first our dreams seem impossible, then they become improbable. And when we summon our will, our dreams become inevitable." Christopher Reeve