Korea's Wi Coasts to Three-Stroke Win in Taiwan Open

Sun 26 Sep 2004

Korea's Wi Coasts to Three-Stroke Win in Taiwan Open


Taipei, September 26: Korea's Charlie Wi (right) coasted to a three-stroke victory in the US$300,000 Taiwan Open today after shooting an accomplished four-under-par 68 in the final round.


Wi finished well ahead of Australian Terry Pilkadaris, who closed with a 72 for second place while overnight co-leaders Gaurav Ghei of India and Chinese Taipei's Lin Chie-hsiang came in tied third and equal fifth respectively after rounds of 74 and 75.


Chang Tse-peng, a distant cousin of former tennis star Michael Chang, enjoyed his best outing on the Asian Tour this season by sharing third place with Ghei after a strong finish with a 68.


It was Wi's sixth career title in Asia, his first since 2002, and the winner's cheque of US$50,000 swelled his season's tally to US$160,608. Victory was sweet redemption for several narrow misses this season, especially in the SK Telecom Open on home soil where he had led into the final round before finishing second and also at the Tianjin TEDA Open in China where he was in the final group but faded.


"I'm happy to win again," said Wi, who totalled four-under-par 284 for the week. "I feel really lucky and I still don't know what the difference was for me at the weekend," added the Korean, who opened his tournament with a pair of 76s before moving into contention by matching the course-record 64 on Saturday.


"Like in yesterday's round, I putted really solidly today and holed some nice putts."


Starting the day two back of joint leaders Ghei (left) and Lin, Wi, who played in the second last group, started strongly with birdies on the second and fourth holes and tied Ghei for the lead when the Indian dropped a bogey on the sixth.


When the 32-year-old Wi birdied the eighth and 10th, which Ghei bogeyed, the methodical Korean was well on the way to victory. He dropped his only shot of the day on the 15th hole but made up with a birdie on 17.



Local hope Lin, bidding for his third Taiwan Open crown, opened with two successive bogeys before bouncing back with three birdies on the sixth, seventh and 11th holes as he battled gamely. But a poor finish of four bogeys in his last six holes dashed his hopes of victory.


With Lin and Ghei faltering, Pilkadaris secured his best ever finish on the Asian Tour and earned a runner-up cheque of US$33,090. This comes two weeks after his fourth place outing in the Kolon Korean Open.


Golf legend Hsieh Min-nan, Asia's winning captain in the inaugural Dynasty Cup against Japan last year, kept his goal of finishing inside the top-10 with a joint ninth placing after a final round 73.


Leading final round scores

284 - Charlie Wi (KOR) 76-76-64-68

287 - Terry Pilkadaris (right) (AUS) 72-73-70-72

288 - Chang Tse-peng (TPE) 75-74-71-68, Gaurav Ghei (IND) 73-72-69-74

289 - Lin Wen-tang (TPE) 78-73-65-73, Lin Chie-hsiang (TPE) 72-71-71-75

290 - Rick Gibson (CAN) 79-69-72-70, Thammanoon Srirot (THA) 70-73-73-74

292 - Hsieh Min-Nan (TPE) 72-73-74-73, Simon Yates (SCO) 76-72-70-74, Chen Chung-cheng (TPE) 76-71-71-74, Kim Felton (AUS) 76-71-71-74

293 - Wang Ter-chang (TPE) 78-73-73-69, Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 74-72-74-73

294 - Chen Chih-Hong (TPE) 78-73-73-70, Clay Devers (USA) 78-76-68-72, Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 77-76-68-73, Harmeet Kahlon (IND) 73-74-73-74

295 - Su Chin-jung (TPE) 79-72-73-71, Kim Kyung-tae [A] (KOR) 79-75-69-72, Sushi Ishigaki (JPN) 75-75-73-72, Lin Keng-chi (TPE) 73-76-71-75

296 - Hsieh Yu-shu (TPE) 77-77-71-71, Kao Bo-song (TPE) 74-74-75-73, Chen Tze-chung (TPE) 73-74-74-75, Brad Kennedy (AUS) 74-75-72-75, Amandeep Johl (IND) 77-73-69-77

297 - Chung Chun-hsing (TPE) 79-70-76-72, Gerald Rosales (PHI) 77-75-68-77