SEOUL — Fiji’s Vijay Singh birdied the final hole to secure a two-stroke victory on Sunday at the Korea Open, holding off a challenge from local favourites Kim Kyung-tae and Yang Yong-eun.
Singh carding a two-over-par 73 in the final round at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, finishing the tournament with a six-under 278.
“It is always nice to win here. I’ve won in Korea back in 1995 and now this year. It is also a significant year for the tournament which is celebrating its 50th anniversary so that is an added celebration,” said the 44-year-old Singh. The Fijian, who has 31 wins on the U.S. PGA Tour, took home the winner’s check of US$320,855.
Yang, who was last year’s winner, struck a 68 to claim joint second spot alongside Kim, who birdied the final hole to finish the day at 67.
South Korea’s Kang Kyung-nam was also in contention until he blew his chance with back-to-back bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes, finishing three strokes back along with compatriot Kim Hyung-sung.
China’s Liang Wen-chong, who is the Asian Tour’s UBS Order of Merit leader, shot a 75 on Sunday to finish eight strokes behind Singh at 286 alongside Australia’s Scott Barr.
Singh, who turned pro in 1982, had a four-stroke cushion heading into the final round but after 16 holes, two birdies against five bogeys slashed his lead to one.
But the Fijian veteran held on, sinking a crucial putt for par on the 17th hole and then cementing his victory with the birdie at 18.
“The pin positions today were the toughest I’ve played so far,” said Singh.
“I ended with a birdie on the last hole which was a great finish,” he added.
Yang, who won last year’s Korea Open, was happy with his strong finish and second place.
“I am pleased with my overall performance this week although I could not produce a double win,” Yang said.
“It was a bit frustrating at the end when the ball lipped out on the 18th hole which could have resulted in a birdie but I played a solid game and I’m satisfied.”