An impressive final round 66 from Jinho Choi helped him to a two stroke victory over Sang Hyun Park, at the KPGA SK Telecom Open earlier today. The day turned into a head to head battle between the duo, but when Choi drained a 40 foot birdie putt on the 16th, while Park missed from half the distance, it seemed almost inevitable that Choi would take the title, to add to his 2015 success.
The ‘other Choi’ KJ got off to a blistering start with three consecutive birdies to mount the pressure onto overnight leader Park, but KJ’s quest for glory fizzled away after he dropped a few shots mid round, while Choi and Park racked up a few birdies. A triple bogey on the 17th summed up KJ’s day, as he slipped to a disappointing T-18th finish.
Younghan Song produced the best golf from outside the final group, to snatch third place for himself. A solid 67 gave the ever consistent Song his best finish at the SK Telecom Open.
A final round 67 from defending champion Sanghee Lee gave him a T-4th finish, alongside Minkyu Han, who shot a 68. In form Lee was +3 after 9 holes in round one, so he should be pleased with this result.
The head to head battle between overnight leader Park and Choi was undoubtedly the main focus of the final day. The duo were tied after 9 holes, as the atmosphere in the crowd began to rise in expectation of a grandstand climax.
Park moved ahead with a birdie at the par five tenth, while Choi continued a run of solid pars from hole eight to fourteen. A bogey from Park on number thirteen handed the initiative to Choi, although the duo were back on level terms.
Choi birdied fifteen to move one shot clear, but his 40 foot birdie putt on the difficult par three sixteenth all but sealed his victory.
Both players parred the last two holes to hand Choi a two stroke victory and his second SK Telecom Open title.
2016 KPGA Player of the Year Choi will now look to build on his first victory in 2017, as the race to top spot and a full 2018 European Tour card heats up. This year’s SK Telecom was a fantastic event with great weather, crowds, golf course, and most importantly a great spectacle for golf.
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