Despite Withdrawals by U.S. Standouts, South Korea's Flagship Golf Event Gets Underway
South Korea's Ballantine's Championship teed off "under a cloud Thursday after fears of an attack by nuclear-armed North Korea depleted the field" and forced organizers to seek advice on safety, according to the BANGKOK POST. The $2.8M Ballantine's Championship is "the golf-crazy country's only European Tour tournament but the competition was rocked this week" by the withdrawal of U.S. stars Zach Johnson and Dustin Johnson over "perceived unrest." On Wednesday, South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen, the top-ranked player at world No. 7, said that he had "received reassurances from his management and the European Tour and that 'everything is fine in the end.'" Oosthuizen: "I think something drastically needed to go wrong for me not to come. And I am glad I came" (BANGKOK POST, 4/25).