A weather delay during the pro-am Monday gave Y.E. Yang a chance for a much-needed catnap. (Photo courtesy Stewart Cink)
Bermuda Shorts: For Yang, the journey is not half the fun
Y.E. Yang had never experienced anything like winning the PGA Championship. And as John Kim notes, he also likely hadn't experienced anything like his marathon trip from Korea to Bermuda, either.
By John Kim, Coordinating Producer
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda -- PGA Champion Y.E. Yang’s road to the PGA Grand Slam of Golf is well documented -- his late entry into playing the game, his persevering through his early years on various tours and his incredible takedown of world No. 1 Tiger Woods at Hazeltine at the PGA Championship.
Less noted but perhaps equally amazing was his literal road to Bermuda (or rather, his air road to Bermuda). Following a whirlwind week going from San Francisco and the Presidents Cup to South Korea, Yang had a quick turnaround to get to Bermuda for this week’s PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
In Bermuda time, Yang woke up at 6 a.m. Sunday and left Seoul at 8 a.m. on a 15-hour plane ride to JFK Airport in New York, where he arrived around 11 p.m. Around 1 a.m., he left on a private charter -- but as the plane left U.S. airspace, its landing gear would not retract.
The plane had to turn around and fly in a holding pattern (to burn off fuel) before safely landing back at JFK. Eventually, it landed safely and everything (and everyone) went to a new plane.
The new plane landed in Bermuda at 6 a.m. local time on Monday, and Yang’s group went to the hotel, checked in and took care of logistics, and then headed over to Port Royal for the Champion’s Clinic and the Monday Pro-Am.
To make matters even more difficult, the weather was extreme in wind and rain, but Yang called it a blessing in disguise. During one weather delay, he was able to sprawl out on a fold-out couch in the locker room.
In good humor, fellow participant Stewart Cink snapped a photo of the exhausted Yang catching a quick nap on the makeshift bed and posted it to his Twitter account -- which has more than 1 million followers.
Yang first saw the Tweet during his Monday press conference, where Cink happened to be in the back of the room.
“Thank you, Cink,” Yang called out to him through laughter.
“How could I pass that up?” Cink responded back.
Not to be outdone, Yang responded on his own Twitter account that he will keep his camera handy and will follow Cink around -- and that Cink should be on the lookout for payback.