Park Sang-hyun dominates by playing his game
Park, who started the final round with a one-shot lead ahead of An Byeong-hun, shot a bogey-free round of eight under par, 63, to finish the tournament at 22 under par, 262.
Park quickly extended his lead with three straight birdies on the first three holes. Then, after a par on par-4 fourth, Park added three more birdies in the front nine to further extend his lead. On par-3 seventh, Park missed the green but successfully made a birdie from the bunker.
After finishing the front nine at six under par, in the back nine, Scott Vincent of Zimbabwe started to move up the leaderboard. A birdie on par-4 15th allowed Vincent to get two shots behind Park, but that didn’t last long as Park responded with a birdie to once again extend his lead by three.
Then, as Vincent made a double-bogey on par-4 16th, Park extended his lead by five and finished the tournament with pars in the last three holes for a victory.
“Since the competitors were hitting it far, I told myself to only think about my rhythm,” Park said. “Even when the competitor hits the green in two on a par five, I told myself to get it on [in three]. Since a good birdie doesn’t mean a different score on the scorecard, I told myself to play my game.”
Park’s final round score of eight under par, 63, was good enough to tie the course record. In addition, Park’s tournament score of 22 under par was good enough to set a new tournament record, as the previous record was 19 under par set by Kang Ji-man in 2006.
“The course is difficult, so I thought 14 under par will be the winning score, but I shot 22 under par,” Park said. “Actually recording 22 under par is fantastic.”
With a win, Park took home total prize money of 216 million won ($192,660), as well as extending his lead on the KPGA Tour’s Player of the Year standing, money list and average scoring. Park has now earned an exemption onto the PGA Tour’s The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges in Jeju, the only PGA Tour event hosted in Korea, in October.
Also the win allowed Park to become the first player in 11 years to win three tournaments in a single season on the KPGA Tour. Prior to Park, Kim Kyung-tae and Kang Kyung-nam were the only players to have won three tournaments in a single season on the KPGA Tour, during the 2007 season.
Vincent finished runner-up at 17 under par, 267. In the past three seasons, Vincent has just missed winning the KPGA Tour’s major tournament, finishing runner-up, third and runner-up again.
An, a full-time PGA Tour player, finished tied for eighth at 11 under par.
On the KLPGA Tour, Lee So-young picked up her third win of the season at the All For You Championship 2018 at South Springs Country Club in Icheon, Gyeonggi on Sunday.
Lee, who started the final round with a one shot lead ahead of Kim A-lim, shot a bogey-free round of five under par to finish the tournament at 19 under par, 269. With a win, Lee became the first golfer to pick up three wins on the KLPGA Tour this season and took home a total prize money of 160 million won.
The KLPGA Tour will continue at the OK Savings Bank Se Ri Pak Invitational, from Sept. 21 to 23, at 88 Country Club in Yongin, Gyeonggi.
BY KANG YOO-RIM, SUNG HO-JUN [email@example.com]