Wang has Masters in sight after Qatar conquest

Mon 30 Jan 2017

Wang has Masters in sight after Qatar conquest

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January 30: Korea’s rising star Jeunghun Wang claimed a play-off victory at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters on Sunday for his third European Tour victory which could seal a debut appearance at the Masters Tournament in April.
The 21-year-old saw his overnight three-shot lead dwindle at the Doha Golf Club as he was forced into extra time by Joakim Lagergren and Jaco Van Zyl but he clinched the title with a birdie on the first extra hole.
Wang, who signed off with a one-under-par 71 and a 16-under-par 272 total, became the youngest winner in the tournament’s 20 year history at just 21 years and 144 days and could rise into the world’s top-40 when the latest ranking is released later today.
The world’s top-50 players a week out before the Masters Tournament will gain exemption into the year’s opening Major in spring.
It was Wang’s third European Tour victory in just 29 appearances, with only Matteo Manassero (19 years and 206 days) and Seve Ballesteros (20 years and 77 days) achieving that haul of titles at a younger age.
Wang, the 2016 Rookie of the Year on the European Tour and third on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last season, won the Trophée Hassan II - also after a play-off - and the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, tri-sanctioned by the Asian, European and Sunshine Tours, last year.
He joins 2009 US PGA Champion Y.E. Yang as the most prolific Korean winner on the European Tour.
A jubilant Wang said: “I really didn't expect that I would win this week. I just kept trying to make birdies, trying to save par and finally won. I've got a lot of confidence from this week, and I learned from the other players about the course. And so I feel really good right now and just want to win another one.
“I was really nervous. It's really long day for me. I missed a lot of greens on the back nine. But my chipping was really good, so I saved every par. So I think that's the key that I won this week.”
Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat produced his second top-10 in the Desert Swing, shooting a final ruond of 69 to finish tied ninth.