Noh Comes of Age in China

Sun 19 Oct 2008

Noh Comes of Age in China


Guangzhou, China, October 19:Korean teenager Noh Seung-yul marked his place in the winners' circle by becoming the third youngest winner on the Asian Tour after claiming the US$500,000 Midea China Classic title on Sunday.

The 17-year-old Noh fought off a spirited challenge from Terry Pilkadaris of Australia by posting a three-under par 68 for a winning 17-under-par 267 total, taking a single stroke victory over the 34-year-old Australian.
Singapore's Mardan Mamat enjoyed his third top-10 finish of his Asian Tour season by ending his campaign in tied-third place together with Korea's Park Jun-won and Chinese Taipei's Lu Wei-chih on matching 269s.

Noh, who had maintained a stoic expression throughout the week, finally broke into a smile when he lifted the trophy and the US$79,250 winner's prize cheque.

"I always try to control my emotions when I play as I tend to focus solely on my game. Maybe I should learn to relax more now and enjoy my game," said Noh who is third youngest player after Thailand's Chinnarat Phadungsil and Korea's Kim Dae-sub to win a title on the Asian Tour.


Noh started the day with a two stroke advantage and he increased it to three with an opening birdie. But he bogeyed the third to allow Park, who was in close second to draw level then.


The teenager however recovered and picked up two more other birdies on the fourth and sixth to extend his lead to two. With Park dropping a shot on the 13th and Pilkadaris posting three more birdies after his turn, it was down to the wire between Noh and Pilkadaris at the closing 18th.


However, with Pilkadaris failing to sink a birdie that could have forced a play-off, the title was effectively handed over to 17-year-old Noh who has also now qualified for the HSBC Champions in Shanghai next month.


"Noh's a very good player and he was steady under pressure there. I thought I had that putt on the last. I looked up and thought that I had it turning in but unfortunately, it was not meant to be," said Pilkadaris.


Mardan, who was six strokes behind Noh overnight, went on a six-birdie blitz to force himself back into contention with a superb closing 64.

However with Noh at the top of his game, the 41-year-old Singaporean had to settle for a share of third place.


"I think I had the best putting this week for the entire year. I've been struggling with my putting for almost three to four months but suddenly this week it all worked out for me," said Mardan, who signed off with a 64 for a 269 at the Royal Orchid International Golf Club.

Home favourite, Liang Wen-chong ended his campaign in tied-16th after closing with a final 274.

Leading final round scores

267 - Noh Seung-yul (KOR) 66-66-67-68

268 - Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 67-67-67-67

269 - Mardan Mamat (SIN) 69-68-68-64, Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 64-72-66-67, Park Jun-won (KOR) 66-69-66-68

271 - Andrew Dodt (AUS) 67-69-69-66, Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 69-68-67-67

Neven Basic (AUS) 69-66-69-67

272 - Rahil Gangjee (IND) 70-69-64-69,Lin Wen-Tang (TPE) 68-70-64-70

Selected scores

274 - Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 68-70-67-69