SEOUL (Reuters) - Moon Kyongjun survived a final hole meltdown to register his maiden tournament victory at the Maekyung Open on Sunday, extending South Korea’s decade-long grip on the event.
The 32-year-old nearly squandered the four-shot lead he held over playing partner Gareth Paddison when he triple-bogeyed the par-four last hole but his final round of 73 proved enough for a two-shot victory over a quartet of players.
“Unbelievable,” Moon said after his four-under-par 284 total at the OneAsia event earned him $180,995.
”I have waited a long time for this. I really don’t know what happened at the last. My worst hole all week but thankfully I had a good lead.
“I hope to go on now and build on this victory.”
Paddison bogeyed the last three holes to close with a 74 and share the second place with fellow New Zealander Ryan Fox (72), Australian Jason Norris (77) and Korean Kim Do-hoon (68).
Moon began the day two shots behind Norris, who was among those bidding to become the first non-Korean to win the title since American Mark Calcavecchia’s triumph in 2004.
The Korean drew level with seven holes to play before surging ahead with back-to-back birdies as Norris double bogeyed the 14th.
Kim added to the drama by birdying five holes on the trot from 12th before dropping a shot on the difficult 18th at the Namseoul Country Club.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Nick Mulvenney