Golf: Kim Bi-O romps to victory in Seoul
14 May, 2012
SEOUL: Talented young South Korean golfer Kim Bi-O cruised to a five-stroke victory in the GS Caltex Maekyung Open Golf Championship in Seoul on Sunday.
Kim, 21, shot a four-under-par 68 on the hilly course at Namseoul Country Club, the third stop on the OneAsia circuit, for a final score of 15-under 273 ahead of compatriots Ryu Hyun-Woo on 278 and Kang Kyung-Nam on 279.
"I have always dreamed of winning this tournament more than any other in Korea," Kim said, according to comments released by the organisers. "People who win here tend to go on to greater things." The victory, the second of his professional career, earned him 200 million Korean won ($171,000) and put him in second place in the OneAsia Order of Merit behind Australian Nick Cullen, winner of the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open.
Kim leapt into the spotlight last year as the youngest player on the PGA tour but struggled in the big league and lost his card. "I was a little bit too eager," he said. "I was playing with all the best players in the world and I was trying too hard to keep up." Kim, dressed in loud check trousers and a black shirt, started nervously Sunday with a bogey but holed a birdie on the second and added four more to leave the field scrambling in his wake. He almost sealed victory with a 30-foot (10-metre) putt from off the green on the last, but was left with a tap-in.
Leading scores after the fourth round (par 72):
273 – Kim Bi-O (KOR) 69-69-67-68.
278 – Ryu Hyun-Woo (KOR) 73-71-68-66.
279 – Kang Kyung-Nam (KOR) 68-70-73-68.
281 – Park Sang-Hyun (KOR) 68-69-70-74.
282 – Lee Sang-Hee (KOR) 70-72-69-71, Choi Ho-Sung (KOR) 70-70-68-74.
283 – Kim Seung-Hyuk (KOR) 70-73-71-69, Lee Tae-Hee (KOR) 75-69-70-69.
284 – Lee Jung-Hwan (KOR) 69-74-73-68, Hur In-Hoi (KOR) 68-76-72-68, Park Jun-Won (KOR) 70-74-68-72.