The 23-year-old Lee, who was born deaf, shot a final round four-under-par 68 at Palm Resort Golf and Country Club to win medallist honours and headed a list of 46 players who secured Tour cards in Asia for 2004.
Starting the day one back of co-leaders Morne Janse Van Rensburg and Edward Michaels, the slender-built Lee quickly stamped his mark by birdieing the first hole. He went on to shoot six more birdies against three bogeys.
Tied for the lead with the 18th to play, Lee earned loud cheers by rolling home a 10-foot birdie to overhaul Japan’s Satoshi Shimouchi. Lee finished with a four-day total of 12-under-par 276.
Lee lip-reads and with his father, Kang-kun’s assistance, the young Korean declared his ambition for the rest of the year. “I didn’t think of winning today as it was only my intention to secure my Tour card,” said Lee, who was urged by his famous compatriot Choi Kyung-ju to try his fortune in Asia.
“With three years of playing experience on the Nationwide Tour in America, I’m really looking to have a good year in Asia and maybe challenge for the Order of Merit title. I knew I was tied for the lead on the 18th green and simply concentrated on holing my birdie attempt. I feel good now.”
Shimouchi shot a 69 to finish second on his own while Van Rensburg was third after a 71. Taiwanese veteran Lin Chis-hsiang and Australian Shannon Jones shared fourth place on 282, six behind the winner.
Amongst the players who secured their Tour cards were Thailand’s Prom Meesawat, a two-time world junior amateur champion, and England’s Zane Scotland, who qualified for the 1999 British Open as a 16-year-old.
The 19-year-old Prom, who carded a final round 70 to finish tied 20th, said: “I’m relieved to secure my card as I was on the bubble starting the final round. I spoke to my uncle last night and he told me to simply focus on my own game which I did.
“I’m going to try and keep making cuts on Tour and hopefully try to contend in one or two events. I know it will be difficult but it’s nice to know that I’ve got my playing rights in Asia.”
The 20-year-old Scotland, one of Nick Faldo’s prot?g?s as a member of Team Faldo, is hoping to re-launch his professional career in Asia after a car accident blighted his efforts to secure his card in Europe after turning professional year.
He will now aim to emulate close friend Simon Dyson, who won the Asian PGA Tour Order of Merit in 2000 in his rookie season. “I’m happy to qualify as it was my goal to earn an exemption here after failing to do so in Europe.
“Simon is a good friend and he said Asia had a good Tour. For sure I’ll be aiming to secure my first professional win this year.”
Final Round Scores
276: Lee Sung-man (Kor) 70-68-70-68
277 Satoshi Shimouchi (Jpn) 67-69-72-69
278: Morne Janse Van Rensburg (Rsa) 70-70-67-71
282: Lin Chie hsiang (Tpe) 69-70-73-70, Shannon Jones (Aus) 69-71-71-71
283: Kim Sang-ho (Kor) 71-68-73-71, Lin Chien-bing (Tpe) 72-67-72-72
284: Alistair Presnell (Aus) 68-70-74-72, Satoshi Tomiyama (Jpn) 67-77-67-73
285: Anthony Summers (Aus) 71-71-77-66, Anthony Gilligan (Aus) 73-72-72-68, Edward Michaels (Usa) 68-68-71-78
286: Jason Moon (Aus) 70-76-72-68, Paul Spargo (Aus) 73-69-73-71, R. Nachimuthu (Mas)–74-69-71-72, Uttam Singh Mundy (Ind) 75-71-68-72, Chen Chung-cheng (Tpe) 71-69-73-73
287: Yoshinobu Tsukada (Jpn) 71-74-71-71, Akinori Tani (Jpn) 71-68-72-76
288: Prom Meesawat (Tha) 72-72-74-70, Ewan Porter (Aus) 73-70-74-71, David Hearn (Can) 74-70-73-71, Gaurav Ghei (Ind) 74-71-71-72, Ashok Kumar (Ind) 72-72-70-74
289: Katsuhiko Yamazaki (Jpn) 75-71-75-68, Angelo Que (Phi) 71-73-75-70, Kenichi Ryu (Jpn) 72-72-75-70, Jonathan Cheetham (Eng) 74-71-74-70, Zane Scotland (Eng) 73-71-71-74, Vivek Bhandari (Ind) 70-67-77-75, Bryan Saltus (Usa) 73-68-73-75, Carito Villaroman (Phi) 71-69-73-76, David Kang-(Kor) 72-73-68-76
290: Lu Wei-lan (Tpe) 76-71-75-68, Adam Groom (Aus) 72-71-76-71, Terry Pilkadaris (Aus) 74-70-75-71, Chan Yih-Shin (Tpe) 78-66-72-74, Jim Johnson (Usa) 74-69-72-75, Eiji Mizoguchi (Jpn) 71-73-70-76
291: Sung Mao-chang (Tpe) 71-73-78-69, Oh Seung-won (Kor) 71-76-74-70, Richard Moir (Aus)- 76-71-73-71, Kim Do-hoon (Kor) 72-73-74-72, Olle Nordberg (Swe) 74-73-71-73, Adam Le Vesconte (Aus) 72-71-71-77, Moon Kyung-Don (Kor) 73-70-71-77
292: Choi Jin-ho (Kor) 72-76-74-70, Vernon Sexton-Finck (Aus) 70-77-73-72, Stuart Leong (Aus)- 70-76-74-72, Cookie Lao’ (Phi)-70-76-74-72, Mukesh Kumar (Ind) 77-69-74-72, Scott Taylor (Usa) 73-72-75-72, Robert Jacobson (Usa)-75-73-70-74, Lu Wei-chih (Tpe) 77-67-74-74, Satoshi Oide (Jpn) 74-71-73-74, Troy Kennedy (Aus)- 74-71-72-75
293: Kwon Myung-ho (Kor) 76-72-72-73, Kim Byung-Kwan (Kor) 76-72-71-74, Atthaphon Prathummanee (Tha) 73-72-74-74,Seong Si-u (Kor) 74-72-72-75, Ross Bain (Sco) 76-72-68-77
294: Jerome Delariarte (Phi) 76-72-74-72, Michael Barry (Aus) 78-70-73-73, Kim Bong-jin (Kor) 71-76-73-74, Sam Walker (Eng) 73-72-75-74, Ari Savolainen- (Fin) 75-71-73-75, Barry Austin (Eng) 74-68-76-76
295: Weng Young-tien-(Tpe) 77-71-72-75
296: Apinai Wannapairote (Tha) 72-75-77-72, Jeon Sang-woo (Kor) 73-75-71-77, Yoshimitsu Fukuzawa (Jpn) 73-71-73-79
297: Tomoo Bise-(Jpn) 72-76-73-76
298: Steven Tan (Mas) 74-74-76-74, Li Chao (Prc) 73-74-77-74, Rey Pagunsan (Phi) 75-71-77-75, Ahn Joo-Won (Kor) 76-70-76-76, Shaaban Hussein-(Mas)–75-73-72-78,
299: Zalizan Md.Har (Mas) 73-70-77-79
300: Huang Tung-liang (Tpe) 75-71-78-76
301: Su Chin-jung (Tpe) 76-72-79-74, Cheng Jun (Prc) 74-74-77-76, Kim Soo-whan (Kor) 72-76-74-79
302: Takuya Yoshikawa (Jpn) 75-71-76-80, Masanobu Miyoshi (Jpn) 75-72-74-81, Lee Hyun-Woo (Kor) 72-72-77-81
303: Lin Wen-hong (Tpe) 74-74-76-79
306: Thongchai Tima (Tha) 72-71-81-82
DQ: Lien Yung-sheng-(Tpe)