Bae Basks in Glory

Sun 17 May 2009

Bae Basks in Glory

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Seoul, Korea, May 17: Korean's Bae Sang-moon etched his name into the honour's list after fending off a strong challenge from compatriot Ted Oh in a thrilling play-off to win the GS Caltex Maekyung Open on Sunday.



Bae edged his rival at the second play-off hole at Nam Seoul Country Club with a par on the par four 18th hole after Oh bogeyed with a disappointing three-putt.



Bae has been chasing a hat-trick of home victories after chalking up two career wins on the Asian Tour at the SK Telecom Open in 2007 and the Kolon-Hana Bank Korea Open in 2008.


 


The Korean finally got the result that he had hoped for all week by winning in the play-off after he and Oh posted matching two-under-par 70 in regulation play.



"It's unbelievable! I've never played in a play-off before and to win the event this way is always something special. I want to thank all my fans for coming out here and supporting me," said Bae.



Bae's win also meant that the GS Caltex Maekyung Open trophy will be kept on home soil for at least another year as no international winner since former British Open champion Mark Calcavecchia of the United States in 2004 has won the event.



The Koreans continue to dominate at home with Kim Jong-duk and Kim Dae-sub taking a share of third place on 283 with another Korean trio of Kim Hyung-sung, Byun Jin-jae and Kang Kyung-nam in tied-fifth on 284.



Singapore's Lam Chih Bing took a share of eighth place together with Korea's Noh Seung-yul, Son Hyun-ho, S.K Ho and Lee Seung-ho on 285.



The tussle for the lead at the top was always going to be a close affair with only a single shot separating all of the likely contenders throughout the final day at the approximately US$470,000 Asian Tour event.



Oh could have sealed victory and secured his maiden breakthrough on the Asian Tour had he birdied his closing 18th hole from five feet. However, as he could only par his shot and with Bae making par too, it was down to the play-off to decide the winner.



"It's disappointing but I guess that's golf. I hope it'll be my week to win the next time," said Oh, who was chasing a maiden Asian Tour title.



Meanwhile, although Lam missed out on the chance to secure his second win on the Asian Tour having been in contention all week, the Singaporean was happy to welcome his return to form



"It has been a struggle so far and it feels good to be contention again. I wish it could have been better but I have a lot to look forward to," said Lam who had to endure a frustrating season where he missed the cuts in his five of the nine events this year.



Lam started the day a single shot behind the leaders. He bogeyed the fifth but made eagle on the par-five ninth to embark on his inward nine in 35. Two costly bogeys on the 17th and 18th holes however meant that he could only settle for a share of eight place.


 


South African rookie James Kruger enjoyed his best finish in his maiden season on the Asian Tour after signing off with a four-day total of 286 to take tied-13th place.



"I think I played a lot better today than all the other days. My ball striking was better and that was probably the key," said Kruger, who had started the day tied for 24th.



Teenage sensation Noh continued to justify why he is the rising star on the Asian Tour with a comeback performance that had the huge galleries at the Nam Seoul Country Club following him closely.



The 17-year-old Korean did not feature in the top-10 for the past three days but gave an assured performance on the day where it mattered most.



"It was a great finish to a great week at home. I only wished that I could have played like how I've played today in my last three rounds," said the 2008 Asian Tour Rookie of the Year who started tied for 33rd but signed off with his best round score of 67 this week.



The GS Caltex Maekyung Open, sanctioned with the Korean Golf Association is the ninth leg of this season's Asian Tour and is also the second Asian Tour event in Korea.



Leading final round scores


281 - Bae Sang-moon (KOR) 71-70-70-70, Ted Oh (KOR) 68-68-75-70


(Bae defeated Oh after the second play-off hole)


283 - Kim Dae-sub (KOR) 71-73-70-69, Kim Jong-duk (KOR) 67-74-73-69


284 - Byun Jin-jae [A] (KOR) 69-70-74-71,Kim Hyung-sung (KOR) 70-68-75-71,Kang Kyung-nam (KOR) 71-72-69-72


285 - Noh Seung-yul (KOR) 74-72-72-67,Son Hyun-ho (KOR) 72-69-74-70,S.K. Ho (KOR) 67-72-75-71,Lam Chih Bing (SIN) 70-70-72-73,Lee Seung-ho (KOR) 72-69-72-72


286 - Jbe Kruger (RSA) 76-69-72-69,Scott Barr (AUS) 72-68-75-71,Kim Kyung-tae (KOR) 72-70-72-72,Kim Dae-hyun (KOR) 73-69-69-75


288 - Kim Meen-whee [A] (KOR) 77-68-72-71,Kwon Myung-ho (KOR) 72-74-75-67


Park Sang-hyun (KOR) 71-73-73-71,Kang Kwon-il (KOR) 74-69-74-71


289 - Kang Wook-soon (KOR) 72-71-75-71,Heo Won-kyoung (KOR) 75-70-73-71,Kim Do-hoon I (KOR) 71-75-73-70,Iain Steel (MAS) 71-73-75-70,Kim Wi-joong (KOR) 73-71-75-70,Jang Ik-jae (KOR) 72-71-74-72,Bang Doo-hwan (KOR) 72-75-74-68,Jeong youn-Jin [A] (KOR) 69-71-76-73,Lee Kyoung-hoon [A] (KOR) 74-70-72-73,Kang Min-woong (KOR) 74-68-74-73,Park Hyo-won (KOR) 68-69-76-76