After impressive 2019-2020 PGA TOUR season start, Jason Day’s late withdrawal makes Captain Els’ decision an “easy” one.
Longtime David Leadbetter student, Byeong Hun An, commonly known as Ben An, clinches Captain Ernie Els’ last minute pick as the newest addition to the 2019 Presidents Cup International Team, competing December 12-15 at Royal Melbourne Golf Club. After a late withdrawal from captain’s pick Jason Day, out with a back injury, Els made the swift decision to select An as the team’s replacement.
Narrowly missing out on initial team selection, Els’ pick should not come as a surprise. Byeong Hun An’s selection is coming off the heels of a wildly successful 2019-2020 PGA TOUR season start, and an impressively consistent 2018-2019 year.
The Korean-born superstar competed in seven 2019-2020 PGA TOUR season starts this fall, the most of any player, recording three Top-10 finishes, including the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP (T-8), THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES (T-6), and narrowly missing a victory at the Sanderson Farms Championship (3rd). An finishes the season ranked 16th on the FedEx Cup Standings and 43rd in the Official World Golf Ranking.
An’s 2018-2019 PGA TOUR season was equally impressive, with An recording three Top-10 finishes and eight Top-25 finishes for the year. “The Big Easy” Captain is confident that An will be someone the International Team can rely on, Els expressed, “To have someone as steady and talented as Ben An puts us in a great position to succeed. Ben played extremely well this fall and throughout the year and he will fit in nicely on this team.”
The ever-humble An was delighted to receive Els’ call to action. “It was a huge surprise to receive a call from Ernie who told me that I was in the team.” An added, “It has been a goal of mine all season to be on the International team, and I am honored to play in my first Presidents Cup. I’m looking forward to joining Ernie and the rest of the team in Melbourne and, more importantly, contribute to the International team’s goal to win the Cup.”
This will be An’s first time competing in the Presidents Cup. Best of luck Ben!
About Byeong Hun An
The 28-year-old South Korean, born in Seoul, made the decision to move to the U.S. at the young age of 14. After moving to Florida in 2005, An began his relationship with David Leadbetter, attending the David Leadbetter Academy, however, Byeong and David started working more closely after An turned professional in 2010. During his time at the Academy, An became the youngest winner ever of the U.S. Amateur (2009), winning the title when he was just 17 years old.
After a short stint at University of California- Berkley, An shifted his focus to professional golf, turning professional in 2010. With a slower than expected start to his career, An credited his years on the Challenge Tour and European Tour as building blocks to his success.
After winning the 2015 BMW PGA Championship, his breakout win, An claimed the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year title. Due to his wildly successful 2015 European Tour season, An gained access to many of the PGA TOUR’s top events, including all four majors. Ben was able to secure his PGA TOUR card for the 2017 season through the Non-member Money List.
|Sanderson Farms Championship||3rd||66-66-70-69 – 271 (-17)|
|The CJ Cup @ NINE BRIDGES||6th||64-69-73-69 – 275 (-13)|
|The ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP||8th||70-68-66-66 – 270 (-10)|
|WGC-HSBC CHAMPIONS||14th||69-71-69-69 – 278 (-10)|
|Wyndham Championship||3rd||62-65-66-67 – 260 (-20)|
|The Open Championship||32nd||73-67-70-75 – 285 (+1)|
|U.S. Open||16th||70-72-68-71 – 281 (-3)|
|Valero Texas Open||7th||69-68-73-66 – 276 (-12)|
|Arnold Palmer Invitational Pres. By Mastercard||10th||72-72-69-68 – (281 (-7)|
|CIMB Classic||13th||66-70-68-66 – 270 (-1)|