Asian Tour Star Returns After Mandatory National Service

The Korean impressed in his first event back after 18-months of National Service

Jeunghun Wang golf shot follow through
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jeunghun Wang, who grabbed international headlines several seasons ago with three fine victories on the DP World Tour, is back on Tour having just returned from 18-months of National Service – and it looks like the break has not affected the progress of one of Korea’s most exciting young golfers.

Wang, 26 years old, competed in the International Series Singapore last week and finished in 22nd position – a credible performance considering it was the first event he had competed in since October 2020. He lines up in this week’s International Series Korea, being played at Lotte Skyhill Country Club, on Jeju Island.

"It’s really exciting to be playing again, and I think I'm playing okay,” said Wang. "I’m really enjoying playing right now and I’m looking forward to playing this week in Jeju. I know the course so I think I can play better than last week.”

He shot rounds of 70, 67, 69, and 73 to finish nine under at Tanah Merah Country Club, seven behind the winner, Thailand’s Nitithorn Thippong.

“I didn't have any chance to practice any golf during this time [during National Service]. Actually, I thought I was going to play really bad last week in Singapore, but I'm still playing okay so I feel happy about that, and hopefully I can play well this week.”

It was in May of 2016 that he claimed the Trophee Hassan II, before he won the following week’s AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, an event sanctioned by Asia, Europe and South Africa. The following year he triumphed in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters an at one point rose as high as 39th on the Official World Golf Ranking.

“Actually, until the third-round last week I was really happy about it, but I hit it really bad on Sunday, so I was a bit disappointed,” he said. This week he has the advantage of having played at Lotte Skyhill before. He added: “I know the course so I think I can play better in Jeju, than in Singapore, but I haven’t played any tournaments on the course, just practiced.”

National Service is mandatory for Korean men, and while it might take some time to get his A-game back, he is still positive about the experience: “It was a good experience, but it was too long. No freedom, so yeah, that’s the hard thing. Just shooting guns every day, training every day,” he said.

After this week’s event Wang is looking forward to playing in a few Korean events, but a return to the DP World Tour will have to wait until next season. “No, I can’t play Europe this year, not until next year. I will probably play two more events in Korea and then I'm just gonna practice some more, I just need to practice now,” added Wang.

Wang made his first appearance on the Asian Tour at the 2011 ICTSI Philippine Open as a 15-year-old amateur and secured his Tour card at the 2013 Q-School. Remarkably, he was a sponsor invite to the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco, which he won in a sudden-death playoff against Nacho Elvira of Spain.

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.