Sentosa, Singapore, September 18: Richard T. Lee of Canada turned the corner in sensational fashion when he won the Shinhan Donghae Open on Sunday.
The Canadian with Korean heritage was going through an uncharacteristic slump in his career when he went 36 Asian Tour events without a single top-10 result which dates back to June, 2015.
But at a time when he needed it most, Lee played some of his best golf to clinch his second Asian Tour title since his first win in 2014. The victory was especially sweet as he dislocated his shoulder and was forced to retire at the Hero Indian Open in March.
After going back to basics, the 26-year-old showed his resolve to edge Malaysian rising star Gavin Green by a single shot at the KRW1.2 billion (approximately US$1.06 million) Asian Tour event.
“I’m going to remember this win for a very long time especially after coming off with injuries and working on my game from scratch again. So this win definitely means a lot,” said Lee, whose father played on the PGA Tour and was roommates with K.J. Choi.
Lee was delighted to see his hard work pay off as he played six times at the Bear’s Best Cheongna Golf Club with Asian Tour star Jeunghun Wang of Korea before returning to the winner’s circle.
“I came back to Korea and played this course at least six times with Jeunghun Wang. I’m lucky to have a good player to practice with. I practised really hard and I won this tournament,” Lee smiled.
After a week of brilliance, Lee made a huge leap on the Order of Merit, moving to eighth place and is now in the running to qualify for the lucrative CIMB Classic in Malaysia next month.
It was another close-call for Malaysia’s Green who settled for his third runner-up result this year. He took pride in his performance and will now turn his attention to the Order of Merit crown where he trails Scott Hend by US$49,583 in third place.
He has also sealed a spot in the CIMB Classic where he will make his second appearance in the event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour.
“Second is not bad. If you had told me I’ll be in second at the start of the week, I would say yes anytime. I’m definitely looking forward to playing in the CIMB Classic. That was also one of my goals coming into this week as I needed a good finish to secure my place,” said Green.
Hend of Australia remains in the Order of Merit lead with earnings of US$416,929 followed by David Lipsky of the United States in second place on US$376,529.
S.S.P. Chawrasia of India (US$312,353) and Thai teenager Phachara Khongwatmai (US$273,152) occupy fourth and fifth place respectively on the Merit rankings.
Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20
Pos. Player Order of Merit (US$)
1. Scott HEND (AUS) $416,929
2. David LIPSKY (USA) $376,529
3. Gavin GREEN (MAS) $367,346
4. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) $312,353
5. Phachara KHONGWATMAI (THA) $273,152
6. Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) $243,578
7. Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) $242,077
8. Richard T. LEE (CAN) $207,557
9. Jason NORRIS (AUS) $195,421
10. Carlos PIGEM (ESP) $192,413
11. Todd SINNOTT (AUS) $179,545
12. Shiv KAPUR (IND) $171,365
13. Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) $149,344
14. Juvic PAGUNSAN (PHI) $147,303
15. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) $145,150
16. Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) $144,373
17. Younghan SONG (KOR) $141,146
18. Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) $132,422
19. Shubhankar SHARMA (IND) $128,988
20. Nicholas FUNG (MAS) $124,737
About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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