South Korea is hailed as the only country in the golfing world where the women's game is more highly developed than the mens', with a small army of 45 players on the LPGA Tour, a further 36 on the developmental Futures Tour and many more in the pipeline.

Yong-Eun Yang, with his historic victory in the US PGA Championship at Hazeltine on Sunday as the first Asian to win any men's golfing major, went a long way to reversing the trend of the gender issue, and like Se Ri Pak before him he might just be the start of a flood.

After Pak's first triumph more than a decade ago there have been a further five Korean major winners: Grace Park, Birdie Kim, Jeong Jang, Inbee Park and Eun-Hee Ji.

There are also another couple of prominent Korean-Americans who have yet to win majors in the formidable forms of the elegant Michelle Wie and extrovert Christina Kim, both members of the US Solheim Cup side that will be in action this week.

If history repeats itself those are the kind of names that will appear in the record books over the next decade as winners of the Open, US Open and Masters.

It's not just the kind of single-minded dedication and parental support prevalent in Korea, of a nature that the western world regards as obsessional and pushy, that suggests the men could follow suit. If golf makes its return as an Olympic sport, as last week's decision by the International Olympic Committee's executive board suggests will happen when the full membership meet in Copenhagen in October, then Korean and Asian golf in general is liable to be stepped up another notch again.

With the kind of governmental support that Olympic status will encourage - imagine what could happen, for example, in China - then it is not far-fetched to foresee a sea change in world golfing power in the not-too-distant future. After the Seoul Sisters, look out now for the Brothers.

The way that Yang won - he looked Tiger Woods in the eye in the final group and played shots that were heard on the other side of the world, namely his chip in for an eagle 2 at the 14th and his rescue three-iron shot to 10 feet at the last - will also be inspirational and not just for his own countrymen.

As sports psychologist Karl Morris comments in an interview elsewhere in this section, by ending the world No.1's streak of 14 major victories won from out in front, Yang's success could have a Roger Bannister four-minute-mile-breaking effect on all major challengers. He has shown it can bedone.

There are various theories as to why Korean men have been slower in coming forward than the women. National service is one, and another is their smallness in build with the power game less important for women than men.

Yang is not a big man, but you could see from the muscles rippling under his golf shirt that, like Woods, he is no stranger to the gym. He displayed this in his victory celebrations by lifting his fully-loaded golf bag, which appeared bigger than himself, above his head with a style that suggests that when the Olympics come along he will be able to double up in the weightlifting section.

Yang's first sporting dream as he grew up on Jeju Island as part of a farming family was, indeed, to own a gym, but that ended when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in a knee - another thing he has in common with Woods.

The 37-year-old revealed after his victory that he didn't take up golf until he was 19 when a friend took him to a basic golfing facility where he hit balls into a net. Without instruction, his first grip was two-handed, baseball style.

Within three years he was breaking par and he has progressed slowly through the Korean PGA Tour, the Asian Tour and European Tour before following his better known countryman Kyung-Ju (KJ) Choi to the PGA Tour in the US, the most lucrative of all. Hazeltine marked his 10th professional victory covering all four tours.

Yang, who lives now with his family in Dallas, Texas, would like to be regarded as a pioneer in the same mould as Pak and Choi. "I hope this win will have a parallel impact both on golf in Korea as well as in Asia so that all the young golfers will build their dreams and expand their horizons," he said through aninterpreter.

And so a season of surprises in the men's majors has come to an end. Who would have thought at the beginning of the year that the champions would be Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink and now Yong-Eun Yang, and that we would still be shedding a tear or two for Tom Watson who, if he could only have made that up-and-down at the last at Turnberry, would have been, at the age of 59, the biggest surprise of all?