Chanmin Jung. Asian Tour
Korean Chanmin Jung completed a shock wire-to-wire victory in the Maekyung Open on Sunday, establishing him as one of his country’s stars of the future.
He shot a final-round five-under 66 for a tournament total of 16-under and a commanding six-shot victory at Namseoul Country Club, in Seoul.
Korea’s Minhyuk Song, an amateur, and Junghwan Lee tied for second following rounds of 64 and 70 respectively, in an event reduced to 54 holes after Saturday’s third round was cancelled because of poor weather and a waterlogged course.
Their compatriots Jaekyeong Lee (66) and Eunshin Park (67) tied for fourth, one shot back, while defending champion Bio Kim, also from Korea, finished in a tie for sixth, an additional stroke behind, following a 70.
Until this week, Jung was best known as one of the biggest hitters in Korea — he topped the driving distance stats on the Korean PGA Tour last year — and had only finished in the top 10 twice in domestic events since turning professional three years ago.
That all changed this week with an inspired and unexpected victory, that has helped him live up to his nickname the ‘Korean Hulk’.
He led after the opening day with a 63 and had a two-shot advantage after his second round 68, which he started Sunday’s round with after Saturday was washed out.
A brilliant front nine of five-under, with an eagle — the result of holing his bunker shot on the par-five fourth — and three birdies, put him six ahead at the turn, before he stylishly closed out the event with nine straight pars on the second half.
“I won a big tournament wire to wire, so I feel good,” said the 23 year old, who won $222,222.
“I sensed the victory with an eagle on the fourth hole. After that, I felt at ease. I used my driver on nine holes today, I used it often because I was confident.
“My putting has changed a lot, I had a lot of worries before, but it’s solved, the anxiety is gone.”
The next event on the Asian Tour will also be staged in the Land of Morning Calm, with the Kolon Korea Open to be played at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, from June 22-25.