Korean star Bae Sang-moon will bid to put the seal on a “career-changing year” after becoming the latest addition to Asian Team Captain Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki’s powerful Royal Trophy line-up.

Bae consolidated his position in Captain Ozaki’s mind by finishing runner-up in the CJ Invitational, shooting four rounds in the sixties.

But Ozaki revealed he had been watching Bae’s progress closely all year, after he decided to base himself in the United States and play full-time on the highly-competitive PGA Tour in 2012 to build on his success in finishing at the top of the Japan Golf Tour Order of Merit last year.

The legendary Asian Captain explained, “It is never easy for Asian golfers to adjust to the different conditions in America, but Bae has made an extremely good job of it.

“It was a brave move to take on that new challenge, because Bae was obviously very well-established on the Japan Golf Tour. After his three fine victories in 2011, he would certainly have expected to win more tournaments here in Japan this year.

“But he felt he needed to test himself against the very top players in the world, and it has been good to see him featured prominently on the leader board on several occasions.

“If I had any doubts about picking him, they would have been banished by his fine performance in the CJ Invitational. But I had already penciled him in for a place in the Asian Team – that performance merely convinced me it was time to write his name in ink!”

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