Tournament article

Kansai Open Golf Championship 2022

Baek’s back where he belongs

Baek’s back where he belongs 

Baek’s back where he belongs 

Growing up in the United States, Korean American golfer Todd Baek has not forgotten his roots.


And that has prompted the 30-year-old to take his professional career back to Asia several years ago by venturing into China first before establishing himself in Japan.


That turned out to be a wise move.


Baek has been a regular JGTO starter since the second half of the 2019 season and has not looked back since.


It didn’t take long for Baek to make his presence felt in Japan. In his first year, he secured not just one but two victories in the secondary circuit ABEMA Tour, winning the Heiwa PGM Challenge II and Toshin Challenge.


“The courses suit my game a lot as I don’t really hit very far but straight. It’s been a good fit,” explained Baek.


The 2020/21 season marked his best performance, where he missed out on a first JGTO title by a whisker after finishing joint second at the Japan Players Championship by Sato Shokuhin.


He also impressed with five top 10 finishes to come in 26th on the season money list - a major improvement from his 56th placing in his rookie season.


“I feel like I have come a long way. It’s been a good journey, I must say. I like it here,” said Baek.


“Even though I grew up in America and hold an American passport, my Asian blood still runs through my vein.


“I like the respectful culture here, everyone’s so nice, and it’s so easy to travel around. It’s been a good tour,” added Baek, who heads into the final round of this week’s Kansai Open Golf Championship after posting a one-under-par 70 for a tied 16th place with his three-day total of two-under 211.


He had put up a battling performance at the Yomiuri Country Club this morning, recovering from being four-over for the day after 13 holes to finishing with two eagles and a birdie in his last five holes. 


Baek will be aiming to improve on his tied 36th result at the Token Homemate Cup a fortnight ago.