Jin's 'Aussie father' Flakemore gets apology at last

LONDON Wed Apr 13, 2011 10:28am EDT

Jeong Jin of South Korea hits his tee shot on the first hole during first round play in 2011 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 7, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Jeong Jin of South Korea hits his tee shot on the first hole during first round play in 2011 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, April 7, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Brian Snyder

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LONDON (Reuters) - British amateur champion Jin Jeong's former coach Trevor Flakemore finally got the apology he wanted after being fired via email by the South Korean's father.

Jin hit the headlines in 2010 when he became the first Asian to win the British amateur title and then finished a shot ahead of Tiger Woods in a tie for 14th at the British Open before his game went off the boil leading to Flakemore's sacking.

"I'm now referred to by his dad as his Aussie Father," Flakemore told Reuters by email after watching Jin make an impressive debut at the Masters where he carded a one-over-par 73 in the opening round last Thursday.

"I had a meeting after the round with Jin's Dad and got my message across with my feelings and his handling of Jin's career.

"A good result in the end, I got a lot of things off my chest and received the appropriate apologies and gratitude for the past. So Jin and I can get on with a positive relationship for the future.

Flakemore told Reuters last week of Jin's struggles since last year's British Open in July, after which the pair had limited contact.

"I got a frantic call to go and meet him in Switzerland in September at the European Masters and he was hitting it sideways," Flakemore recalled after the South Korean shot a second round 83 to miss the cut at Crans Montana.

But after the South Korean's respectable showing at Augusta, where he was joint 82nd on six-over-par in a group including world number one Martin Kaymer, Jin is getting back to his best.

The promising South Korean, who will make his professional debut this week in San Antonio alongside Americans Colt Knost and Kyle Stanley, will also play on this year's European Tour having already received seven invitations.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

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