A PLAYER I regard as undoubtedly the best prospect I have seen for some time took a huge step on Sunday by claiming his first victory on the PGA Tour.
South Korean Noh Seung-Yul was outstanding all week, going 54 holes without a bogey, on his way to winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans by two shots – the biggest title of his short but already impressive career.
Noh is still only 22 but can now boast triumphs on the PGA Tour, the European Tour – the Maybank Open in Malaysia when just 18 years old – and two on the Asia Tour, including one when aged 17.
He has a wonderful swing and a fantastic demeanour. Everything he does seems to be completely under control, and judging by the way he played the final round he relishes the limelight too. That win has lifted him back into the world’s top 100, to No88, and he is among a group of male Asian players who I think are likely to go on to dominate the main tours the way their female golfers have.
Also enjoying a landmark win at the weekend was Alexander Levy, who shot a course record round of 62 on his way to lifting his first European Tour trophy at the Volvo China Open.
The 23-year-old is the fifth Frenchman to register a victory in the last 12 months, and another sign of the resurgence players from across the Channel are enjoying lately.
The success of Victor Dubuisson, who leads the European points list, has no doubt inspired a few but I fancy that the decision to stage the 2018 Ryder Cup in France for the first time has focussed minds and spurred the likes of Levy, Julien Quesne and Gregory Bourdy to do their best to make sure they’re part of that occasion.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood continued his good season with a very solid performance to take second place behind Levy, but just came up against someone playing even better.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam