Jin Jeong was ranked the world’s best amateur golfer during 2010 but has departure from his Australian coach has raised questions over who is running the show.
South Korean Jeong, was the first Asian player to win the British Amateur Championship at the age of 20 and finished in a very respectable tie for 14th at last year’s Open Championship at St.Andrews. He was the only non-professional golfer to make the cut and his Australian coach Trevor Flakemore was on the bag.
Jin Jeong based himself in Melbourne at the Waverley Golf Club for many years with Flakemore at his side. Australia jumped on the Jeong bandwagon after rumours spread that he was set to become an Australian citizen but they were quashed quite quickly with Jeong saying he would like to represent South Korea in some amateur tournaments. Also around this time, his coach was sacked by Jin’s father – by email.
Since then his father has been accompanying Jeong around the world, including at the US Masters a few weeks ago. Flakemore was told by Jeong that he wanted him on the bag at Augusta but once again found out his services weren’t required. This time he found out by accident after booking and paying for his flights to Georgia.
Flakemore received at apology from Jeong’s father, but not before he made a few comments that had a strange Star Wars feel to them.
“He just went very shy. I sense his father’s influence, and he’s very embarrassed by it all. He now comes to practise at the course before I’m there. He tries to avoid me. It’s sad.
“I just think he’s got to get his dad away from him. The schedule his dad has set for him, there’s no time for himself. He’s not allowed to see his girlfriend because the female influence weakens him. He’s just a very sad boy at the moment,” said Flakemore.
Let’s hope this is not another case of a domineering parent forcing their dreams upon their child. Jeong has talent and everyone still wants to see him achieve success in the professional golf.
Jeong finished the US Masters in 82nd place and turned professional two weeks ago. He failed to make the cut at the Texas Valero Open.