Lee Lands Maiden Win at Bangkok Airways Open

Sun 10 Jun 2007

Lee Lands Maiden Win at Bangkok Airways Open

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Koh Samui, June 10: Korean stalwart Lee Sung completed a dominant wire-to-wire success at the Bangkok Airways Open for his maiden triumph on the Asian Tour on Sunday.
Lee, who fired a course record of 62 in the third round, remained steady with an even-par 71 in his final stretch at the Santiburi Samui Country Club. With a winning total of 16-under-par 268, he finished three strokes ahead of local star Prayad Marksaeng who carded a 66 in lone second place.
Lee dedicated the win to his family, especially his brother and caddie Lee Sung-joo as he walked away with the top prize of US$47,550.
Five strokes behind was Thai youngster Prom Meesawat who carded a 68 as he claimed tied third place alongside Japan?s Taichiro Kiyota who shot a 66 in the US$300,000 event. Singapore?s Mardan Mamat was even-par for the day and claimed fifth spot after a 275 total.
I am extremely happy with my win today, thanks to my brother who has been very good this week. I hope to have him on the bag for the rest of the season,? said Lee, who rose to 11th place on the Asian Tour?s UBS Order of merit with total earnings of US$141, 945.

?I have been working on my swing with my brother for the past two years and it finally paid off this week,? admitted the champion, who communicates by lip reading through his brother.
Lee started his Asian Tour campaign in 2004 and delivered a top-five finish this season at the BMW Asian Open. He picked up the game when he was 16-years-old through his father Lee Kang-kun who had caddied for him throughout most of this season.
Lee, who turned pro in 2000, fired three birdies against a dropped shot on the front nine before a late scare with a double bogey on the 14th and a dropped shot 15th hole.
Prayad took advantage with an eagle on the 15th hole and a birdie on the 16th but Lee replied with a final birdie on the 17th hole for a three stroke triumph.
?I was really nervous when Prayad started to close the gap to within two strokes but I came back with a birdie on the 17th. That was nice.
?I?ve been working hard on my short game and my swing and it started to show at the BMW Asian Open in April. This win means a lot to me and I would like thank my family who has been very supportive over the past few years,? added Lee.
His winning performance this week was commended by second placed Prayad who gave chase before conceding on the 17th hole.
?I was putting solid and enjoyed a good spell in the closing holes. I knew I had a chance for the title heading into the last two holes but after the 17th hole birdie by Lee, it was all over,? said Prayad, who has won five titles in Asia.
?Lee is a very good player. I?ve played with him many times before on the Asian Tour. He is solid in every aspect of the game, especially in his putting. I am not disappointed at all coming in second place here. I tried my best to challenge for the win and I?m glad to finish well in front of the home fans,? added Prayad.
Japanese rookie Taichiro Kiyota enjoyed his best finish this season in joint third place with six birdies against a lone bogey.
?It is my first time playing in Koh Samui so coming out with this result is definitely pleasing. It?s been a learning curve for me but I?m enjoying the ride so far,? said the 26-year-old Osaka-based player.
Australia?s Mitchell Brown matched the course record when he shot a 62 in the final round. He ended his campaign in tied 15th place after a 280 total alongside Thailand?s Thongchai Jaidee who was even-par for the day.
Leading final round scores.
268 - Lee Sung (KOR) 66-69-62-71
271 - Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 69-72-64-66
273 - Taichiro Kiyota (JPN) 70-69-68-66, Prom Meesawat (THA) 72-67-66-68
275 - Mardan Mamat (SIN) 72-65-67-71
276 - Adam Blyth (AUS) 69-68-69-70
277 - Lin Wen-tang (TPE) 69-67-72-69
278 - Lu Wen-teh (TPE) 71-69-71-67
279 - Rashid Ismail (MAS) 72-72-69-66, Han Lee (USA) 71-73-67-68, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 69-69-69-72, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 72-64-72-71, Chris Rodgers (ENG) 70-71-68-70, Chawalit Plaphol (THA) 73-67-66-73
280 - Mitchell Brown (AUS) 74-71-73-62, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 71-70-68-71
281 - Kwanchai Tannin (THA) 75-69-67-70
282 - Neven Basic (AUS) 71-67-75-69, Brad Iles (NZL) 74-69-72-67
283 - Olle Nordberg (SWE) 72-70-71-70, Tony Lascuna (PHI) 70-70-69-74
284 - Gaurav Ghei (IND) 72-70-71-71, Gurbaaz Mann (IND) 73-66-72-73, Chen Yuan-chi (TPE) 70-72-68-74