Local star Bae Sang-Moon enjoys Korea Open victory


AFP

SEOUL — Local star Bae Sang-Moon enjoyed a memorable home triumph at the Korea Open on Sunday, firing a two-under-par 69 to hold off Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter of England. The Asian Tour hotshot carded an 11-under-par 273 in the one million dollar event and rises to fifth place on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit. “I’m extremely happy and I don’t think I’ve realized the magnitude of my win. I’m very proud of myself,” said Bae, who walks away with a cheque for 240,384 dollars. American Anthony Kim was even-par for the day to finish in a tie for third place alongside overnight leader Kim Wi-Joong, who produced a 72 at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club. Former winner Kim Dae-Sub shot a 72 for lone fifth place while Korea’s Lee In-Woo nailed a 65 to finish in joint sixth spot together with compatriot Kim Hyung-Tae and Australia’s Jason King who carded a 70 and 69 respectively. Bae, who won the SK Telecom Open last year, was delighted to overcome the elite field and nail his second win on the Asian Tour.

The champion held his game together on the final charge when he was one under after nine holes. He fired a birdie on the 10th hole followed by eight straight pars for a 69. “The birdie on the 10th hole kept my momentum going for the rest of the day. That birdie gave me the confidence needed to keep it going in the closing holes,” said Bae. Poulter, with seven wins in Europe, was leading the field heading home but the title slipped away when he struck bogeys on the 16th and 18th holes. “I came here to win but I am going home second, so I’m not very happy. But it’s nice to come here with so many fans and I’m glad I could show them some good golf this week,” said the 32-year-old Englishman.

Ryder Cup star Kim was disappointed with his final day efforts of two birdies against an equal number of bogeys to finish in tied third place.

“I am very disappointed. I let a lot of shots go today and this week. There is a lot for me to learn but hats off to the winner who played great.

“I had a good time and enjoyed the support from the fans, even though I played terrible in the last three days. But I’ll be back and I will be a much better player when I return,” said Kim.