10/18/2017 9:51:14 AM

No nuke fears as PGA Tour makes Korean debut

No nuke fears as PGA Tour makes Korean debut

Jeju, South Korea: Top golfers brushed off the "crazy" security tensions on the Korean peninsula ahead of the US PGA Tour's inaugural CJ Cup, which begins on Thursday.

Ten of the world's top 30 will tee off on Jeju Island, south of the mainland, in the second event of a three-week swing as the PGA Tour spreads its wings further into Asia.

World number four and US PGA Champion Justin Thomas is the top-ranked player at Jeju's par-72 Nine Bridges course for an event which carries a massive first prize of $1,665,000.

There have been no big-name withdrawals from the 78-man field despite nuclear-armed North Korea recently firing several missiles over Japan and claiming to have tested a hydrogen bomb last month.

"It's a crazy situation, we can all agree on that," said Xander Schauffele, who at 23 is one of the bright young talents to have emerged on tour this year.

"If any inch of my body felt unsafe I wouldn't be here," added Schauffele, who triumphed at the season-ending Tour Championship last month. "I don't really know anyone who didn't want to come to Korea."

Major-winner Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland agreed.

"There's things happening all over the world. We wouldn't be playing an event here if it wasn't safe," said McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion.

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