Monday, June 23, 2008

World Golf and 'Family' Dinners

I was hoping to update the blog after the final round yesterday, but chaos and a lack of internet service won out over that idea. My apologies if this post lacks cohesion as I just arrived in San Fran and the light and time change is leading me into zombie mode.

I finished the Acebank Montvert Open tournament with 74 for a 32nd finish and made about $2k. As with the previous tournament, the final round outcome was not as I had envisioned, but after I opened the tournament with +5, 77 and hit my tee shot on the second hole of my second round out of bounds, battling back to make the weekend was an accomplishment.

After my finish, a Korean player told me how impressed many of the Korean players were with my performance in the first half of my rookie year. He said during the first hald of the season, where international players are trying to acclaimate themselves to food and culture change, extreamly unique and stressful golf course styles, while trying to manage transportation and accomodations in a land of limited english, very few are able to make cuts. Even most Asian Tour players who also have exempt status on Korean Tour, struggle to adjust to all the factors a player has to manage outside the golf course. He said my ability to make 5 cuts to start the year was impressive. It only gets easier from this point forward.

This week my gallery consisted of members of 'the family;' 'the dragon brothers.' I ate dinner with members of the Korean mob every night, one 'brother' was my transportation and caddy for the week, and another invited me to play an extra practice round on the tournament course. As the week rolled on, I had a few more spectators every day with dragon tatoos covering their upper torso. This nuance with the gunfire and explosions coming from the North Korean training camps a few miles away made for a unique week of golf.

"You in Korea, my family...caddy, hotel, car...give you," Mr. Lee continuously said to me. "No money, no problem, Brother," he continued.

On my way back to the airport I was concerned I was going to have to bump someone off to pay my tab. I breathed a sigh of relief when I unpacked the back of the 'company car' and said my goodbyes.

Before I left this morning, I met a hotel manager who had seen me play on t.v. and told me anytime I was in Korea, they would see to it I was taken care of. One fantasic component to playing here is the t.v. coverage. I get to play in primetime every week. It is great simulation training for my PGA Tour debut. It will be a few months before it's back to the SBS Korean Golf Channel, ordering 'Bugoggi' from the local soup holes and being a guest of 'the family.' I'll be home for two glorious months of preparation towards taking on the golfing world.

3 comments:

B.Konrad said...

Mark Congrates on your final tournament. A job well done. Keep chipping away. HAHAHA

Enjoy your time at home with the friends and fam. Hopefully I will catch you sometime before you leave.
~Bill

Dick said...

Look forward to hearing of your exploits this weekend mark. welcome Home!

Dick

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UN SALUDO.