Second Tour Win for Kim at Kolon Korea Open
Kim Seung-hyuk sank
Cheonan, October 27: Korea’s Kim Seung-hyuk sank the putts when it mattered and waited for his closest pursuer to wilt under pressure en route to victory at the Kolon Korea Open on Monday, his second win of the season on OneAsia.
His four-day total of two-under par 282 saw him finish two shots ahead of highly rated countryman Noh Seung-yul and extend his lead in the 2014 OneAsia Order of Merit race.
A stroke ahead of amateur Ham Jeong-woo when the fourth round was halted by darkness on Sunday, Kim played patient golf on the restart and parred his five remaining holes for a closing 70 at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club.
“My game plan was just to make pars,” said the 28-year-old Kim, who won the SK Telecom Open in May. “It’s a difficult course and you really need to manage your game if you expect to win here.”
Ham had been leading the tournament until he reached the final nine holes when a bogey and double bogey brought him back to the field before play was suspended on Sunday.
His expected challenge when play resumed on Monday was derailed by bogeys on the 15th and 17th holes and he had to settle for a 75 and a tie for third.
Kim, who led the OneAsia money list with US$223,311 in winnings going into the tournament, called it right when he said after the final round was suspended on Sunday that the way he played the 16th and 17th holes would be the key to his lifting the title.
The in-form Kim, winner of the Top Cup Tokai Classic on the Japan Tour earlier this month, stared a bogey in the face on the par-three 16th after his chip ran past the hole but kept his slender lead with a brilliant 20-foot putt to save par.
On the 17th, he sank a tricky six-footer to again save par after his putt from the fringe came up short.
With a two-stroke lead over PGA Tour regular Noh, who had completed his round on Sunday and was the clubhouse leader at even par, Kim settled for a par on the 18th to cement his victory.
As the current leader of the OneAsia money list he will play the BMW Masters which tees off on Thursday in Shanghai, China.
Major winner Y. E. Yang, who was in a position to make a challenge, could not get things going and a succession of pars kept him four strokes behind the leader and out of contention. He closed with a 74 for sixth place on his own.
The Kolon Korea Open, which is one of the longest running national opens in Asia, was plagued by daily fog delays since it started on Thursday resulting in a Monday finish.
Indonesian golf fans have more to be optimistic about as Rory Hie continues his improvements in tournament play with a solid final round 69 (two under) to finish in a tie for 14th the second highest finishing non-Korean in the Korea Open field. Rory will look to bring his fine form into the Indonesian Open come the start of December.
The next tournament on OneAsia is the Australian Open at The Australian Golf Club from November 27 – 30.
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