Rookie An lands runaway win for Korea at Wentworth

Sun May 24, 2015 1:39pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

VIRGINIA WATER, England (Reuters) - South Korean An Byeong Hun became only the third European Tour rookie to win the BMW PGA Championship in the 60-year history of the event when he roared to a spectacular six-shot victory on Sunday.

The 23-year-old went into the final round in a tie for the lead with Italian Francesco Molinari and pieced together a nerveless seven-under-par 65 to finish with a 21-under total of 267 on a gray but humid day at Wentworth.

An's triumph earned him a check for 833,330 euros ($917,913) and meant he joined British pair Bernard Gallacher(1969) and Scott Drummond (2004) as rookie winners of the tour's flagship event.

Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez (67) and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee (69) shared second place, two ahead of Briton Chris Wood who recorded a hole-in-one at the 14th on the way to a closing 66.

Molinari ballooned to a 74 to finish fifth on 276.

"I'm over the moon," An told the presentation ceremony after setting a new BMW PGA scoring record in relation to par.

"I wasn't expecting this. I didn't know a win was this close and I never thought I would win this event."

An, whose best previous finish on the tour came when he was tied for fifth at the Qatar Masters in January, streaked clear of his title rivals with three birdies and an eagle on the back nine.   Continued...

South Korea's Byeong Hun An in action during the final round. BMW PGA Championship - Virginia Water, Surrey, England - 24/5/15. Action Images via Reuters / Paul Childs Livepic