Teenager Noh wins Malaysian Open

Eurosport - Thu, 04 Mar 08:10:00 2010

South Korean teenager Noh Seung-yul demonstrated nerves of steel to win the Malaysian Open by one shot after a magical final-hole birdie.

Noh Seung-Yul of Korea - 0

The 18-year-old's challenge looked to be faltering as he pulled his drive wildly onto the wrong fairway on the par-5 18th hole, and he then hit his second shot next to a hospitality marquee.

But from there he floated a superb pitch shot to within three feet of the flag for a closing four-under-par 68 to edge out compatriot KJ Choi, who closed with a 69.

Noh finished with a winning total of 14-under 274 in Kuala Lumpur as the joint overnight leaders, Welsh rookie Rhys Davies and Thai journeyman Kiradech Aphibarnrat, slipped back with 71s.

"It was a good up-and-down," Noh said of his finish at the 18th. "This week I've had three or four chip-ins for birdies and I also chipped it in today on number one.

"That kind of gave me a good vibe so I was able to close it out," added Noh, who has now secured Tour cards in Japan, Asia and Europe after winning the co-sanctioned Asian and European Tour event.

"My ultimate goal is to try to make it on the US PGA Tour.

Playing in Europe and Japan and Asia will definitely help me on the road to getting my US card."

Choi had himself birdied the last to take the clubhouse lead and was preparing himself for a play-off before Noh's heroics gave him victory.

"Hats off to Seung-yul," said Choi. "He had a fantastic round. I have no complaints. He is one of the most powerful young talents coming up.

"The way that he controls and hits the ball is like no other and I think he has a very bright future."

Denmark's Soren Hansen shot a 70 for a share of third with Kiradech and Davies, while Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee, who began the final round one off the lead, fell away with an even-par 72.

And England's Danny Willett got himself into contention with an impressive final round of 68, but a bogey on the final hole robbed him of a chance to put pressure on the leaders and left him on his own in sixth place.

Sunday's final round belonged to Noh, whose father caddied for him during the tournament at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

"KJ asked me when my last win was," he said. "I told him it was in 2008 and he goes: 'Well its about time you won!' "For it to happen this week, I couldn't think of a better situation."

Reuters / Eurosport

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