Jakarta, Indonesia, May 10: Newcomer Seung Park became the first Korean to win on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) after prevailing on the second play-off hole to claim his maiden professional title at the OB Golf Invitational on Friday.
Starting the day four shots off the pace, Park traded five birdies against a bogey to close with a four-under-par 68, matching the four-day efforts of Thailand’s Panuwat Muenlek, who returned with a 67, at the US$65,000 ADT event.
The duo, who were tied on 14-under-par 274 total following regulation play, were forced to go the distance as they returned to the par-five 18th hole for the sudden death play-off at the highly-acclaimed Royal Jakarta Golf Club, which is a regular host venue on the Asian Tour.
It was the 22-year-old Park who eventually triumphed after pipping Panuwat to the title with a par against a bogey on the 74th hole. Despite taking four shots to reach the green, Park rolled in a 12-footer for par while Panuwat two-putted from six feet to settle for a bogey.
“I didn’t expect anything coming in to this week. It feels so surreal to win, especially with my father cheering me on all week. I almost cried walking off the green after I sank that putt,” said the young Korean, who missed the mark at the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January.
Park, who had his father supporting him from the sidelines all week, took home a winner’s purse of US$11,375 and received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, thanks to his victory.
“It has been a tough few years and I haven’t been striking it well since I finished my military service in January. My game just peaked at the right time and I am glad to have earned my first professional victory,” added Park, who propelled to seventh place on the ADT Order of Merit following his win
“I played really well today, coming back from five shots behind. Even though I lost today, I am happy because I gave myself a chance to fight for another ADT victory in a play-off. I will keep trying because I know a win will come soon,” said the 33-year-old Thai, who had missed out on his fifth ADT title following the play-off defeat.
Leading final round scores:
274 – Seung Park 71 67 68 68, Panuwat Muenlek 71 67 69 67
276 – Masaru Takahashi 70 71 70 65, Wang Wei-lun 67 67 70 72
277 – Danny Masrin 69 66 72 70, Sorachut Hansapiban 68 69 70 70, Rory Hie 68 66 71 72, George Gandranata 68 69 68 72, Hayato Yoshida 68 69 68 72