"Korea, Myanmar and Chinese Taipei Earn World Cup Spots"

Sun 03 Oct 2004

"Korea, Myanmar and Chinese Taipei Earn World Cup Spots"


Senai, Malaysia, October 3: Korea claimed a play-off victory today as Kim Dae-sub and Shin Yong-jin led Myanmar and Chinese Taipei to the World Cup in Spain.

The 23-year-old Kim, a two-time Korean Open champion, drained a 40-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole at Palm Resort Golf and Country Club to relegate Myanmar duo Kyi Hla Han and Soe Kyaw Naing to runner-up place after both teams finished tied at the top on 12-under-par 276.

Korea closed with a 72 in the final day's Foursomes while Myanmar shot a 75. Chinese Taipei's Lu Wei-chih and Wang Ter-chang endured an anxious finish to claim the last slot to Spain after a 76. They dropped a bogey and double bogey in their last two holes and finished one stroke ahead of surprise package Pakistan, who carded a 70 to earn first reserve status for the World Cup in November.

"We never thought of winning as our intention was to finish inside the top-three," said Kim, who like Shin earned his first World Cup appearance. "In the second hole of the play-off, I saw the putting line and felt good. I knew I would make the putt."

Shin, who is 16 years older, said their game plan was to play it safe as they entered the final round with a four-shot cushion over the fourth placed team. "I guess that was why we played well. Choi Kyung-ju could have earned an automatic place in the World Cup through the world rankings but he declined to play. I guess that gave us the opportunity to qualify and I'm glad we have made it," said Shin, last year's Korean number one.

For the 43-year-old Han, it was still mission accomplished although he had two chances to claim victory, first missing a 12-foot birdie putt at the last hole in regulation and then another eight footer in the first play-off hole.

"The main goal was to qualify and we felt comfortable the whole day up till the 14th when we double bogeyed. I had chances to win it and then Kim holed a long one and Soe missed an eight footer, that's how it goes in this game," said Han, who will make his fifth World Cup appearance in November.

Soe was also thrilled to earn his third shot at the World Cup, which guarantees prize money of US$40,000 for the last placed team in the 24-nation competition in Spain. "Playing with Kyi Hla is always good as he is so experienced. I'm looking forward to Seville already," he said.

With Pakistan's Matloob Ahmed and Muhammad Shabbir posting a nine-under total on the board with their strong finish, Chinese Taipei's Lu and Wang nearly blew it.  Wang missed an eight footer for par on 17 and to compound matters, Lu sliced his tee shot into out of bounds on the par five 18th as their hearts skipped a few beats.

They eventually scrambled for a double bogey which was good enough for the last ticket to Spain. "I missed the green on 17 and then missed the putt for par," said Wang, who booked his second World Cup appearance. "And then on 18, Lu sliced his drive which was unbelievable as he normally draw his shots. 

We had to hold our nerves at the end and made sure we got the last ticket to Spain. Now that we've done it, it feels good, especially for a man my age," said Wang, who is 42.

The 24-year-old Lu said he tensed up at the last. "I just hit a poor drive but luckily, we managed to get the double bogey. I'm looking forward to the World Cup."

Ahmed and Shabbir were disappointed. "We missed a few putts out there but I think we both can be proud of the way we performed this week. This is good for Pakistan golf and we'll come back and try again," said Shabbir.

Leading final round scores - Foursomes
276: Korea (Kim Dae-sub, Shin Yong-jin) 67-74-63-72, Myanmar (Kyi Hla Han, Soe Kyaw Naing)  66-69-66-75
(Korea won on second hole of sudden-death play-off)
278: Chinese Taipei (Wang Ter-chang, Lu Wei-chih) 65-71-66-76
279: Pakistan (Matloob Ahmed, Muhammad Shabbir  Pakistan) 66-74-69-70
281: Thailand ( Boonchu Ruangkit, Thaworn Wiratchant) 67-72-69-73
281: Philippines (Angelo Que, Gerald Rosales) 71-74-68-68
282: India (Rahil Gangjee, Amandeep Johl) 67-74-69-72
283: Malaysia (Danny Chia, R. Nachimuthu) 63-77-68-75
284: Finland (Jakko Makitalo, Thomas Sundstrom) 67-77-68-72
286: Sri Lanka (Nandasena  Perera, Anura Rohana) 68-75-68-75
287: China (Shang Lei, Xiao Jian-cheng) 70-75-69-73, Hong Kong (Derek Fung, James Stewart)  71-73-67-76
292: Singapore (Poh Eng Wah, M. Murugiah) 71-76-67-78
293: Switzerland (Marc Chatelain, Ronnie Zimmermann) 67-75-67-84
295: Guam (Mike Castro, Lond Lindsey) 72-73-74-76
304: Mauritius (Billy Narraina, Vishnoo Seeneevassen) 72-77-75-80
314: Fiji (Firoz Khan, Inoke Bolakoro) 77-78-70-89