Noh denies Choi for Malaysia win

 

Golf:South Korean teenager Noh Seung-yul set his sights on emulating childhood idol KJ Choi after edging out his veteran compatriot to win the Malaysian Open by one shot on a dramatic final day at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

The 18-year-old birdied the final hole to card a final round four-under-par 68 and top the leaderboard at 14 under - despite playing the exquisite chip which set up the two-foot conversion from the edge of the practice putting green behind a hospitality marquee.

With Noh holding a one-shot lead but actually playing from the 10th fairway following a wayward final drive, 39-year-old Choi had set the clubhouse lead after a three-under 69 with a four-foot birdie putt after letting slip a one-shot lead following his only bogey on the penultimate green.

“It is more special than my first win after competing with some of the best players in the world. And beating someone I have looked up to in KJ makes it more special,” said 2008 Midea China Classic champion Noh, who picked up the €246,290 winner's cheque.

“KJ has been a role model for me. I have been looking up to KJ since I was in junior golf, when he was at the peak of his career winning tournaments worldwide. He has given me a lot of advice and that will help me on the world stage.”

Noh will next turn his attention to the British Open Asian qualifier which starts in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday before weighing up his options, with Japan, Asia and Europe all possibilities.

Whichever route he takes, though, America is the ultimate goal to follow in the footsteps of seven-time US PGA Tour winner Choi.

“My plan is to play in Japan and the big tournaments in Asia, as I need to gain more experience on the bigger stages, with my ultimate goal being to qualify for the PGA Tour through Q-School,” added the world number 266.

“With my win I get my status on the European Tour so this might change some of my plans. If I split my time between Japan and Europe it will be a good experience. My plan is to play as many global events as possible and playing worldwide will set a foundation for me in securing a playing spot on the US Tour.”

Choi, who last won in Malaysia in October, held a one-shot lead at the midway

point of the final round after chipping in on the ninth green but was ultimately made to pay for a wayward tee shot on the 17th.

“I’m not disappointed at all. I played well and tried my best. My hat’s off to Seung-yul, he played well and had a fantastic round,” said the world number 96.

“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.

“I feel like he is going to develop in all aspects and in the near future he is going to be on the world stage.”

Joint overnight leaders Rhys Davies (71) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (71) and Soren Hansen (70) all missed lengthy birdie putts at the last to finish tied for third at 12-under-par.

Danny Willett posted a second consecutive 68 over the weekend to claim sixth, a further shot off the pace, while Swede Johan Edfors (71) and Asian number one Thongchai Jaidee (71) finished tied for seventh at 10-under-par.

Peter Lawrie, the sole Irish survivor into the weekend, secured a top 10 berth after a final round 68 left the Dubliner on eight under and earn €26,488.

Collated final round scores & totals in the European Tour Maybank Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur G&CC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

(Gbr & Irl unless stated, Par 72):

274Seung-yul Noh (Kor) 69 70 67 68

275K J Choi (Kor) 67 70 69 69

276Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha) 68 69 68 71, Soren Hansen (Den) 70 67 69 70, Rhys Davies 65 69 71 71

277Danny Willett 72 69 68 68

278Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 66 71 69 72, Johan Edfors (Swe) 69 69 69 71

279Jason Knutzon (USA) 73 67 72 67

280Rahil Gangjee (Ind) 68 75 66 71, Angelo Que (Phi) 70 67 72 71, Peter Lawrie 69 72 71 68, Mark Brown (Nzl) 71 71 72 66

281Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 67 69 71 74, Ignacio Garrido (Spa) 65 72 71 73, Shingo Katayama (Jpn) 76 69 68 68

282Wei Chih Lu (Tha) 74 70 68 70, Niclas Fasth (Swe) 69 73 70 70

283Gary Boyd 72 71 71 69, Ashan Wu (Chn) 73 70 68 72, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 68 74 72 69, Dae-hyun Kim (Kor) 66 73 70 74, Chapchai Nirat (Tha) 69 70 75 69, Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia (Ind) 69 72 72 70

284Daniel Chopra (Swe) 71 70 71 72, Wen-chong Liang (Chn) 75 70 71 68, Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha) 70 72 70 72

285Marco Ruiz (Par) 71 71 74 69, Arjun Atwal (Ind) 72 69 75 69, Darren Beck (Aus) 69 75 71 70, Scott Barr (Aus) 68 71 70 76, Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe) 77 65 68 75, Hyung-sung Kim (Kor) 70 74 70 71

286Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 71 70 68 77, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 68 74 72 72, Scott Strange (Aus) 69 73 72 72, Chih-bing Lam (Sin) 72 70 75 69, Steven O’Hara 74 71 71 70

287Brett Rumford (Aus) 71 67 76 73, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 72 71 70 74, Andrew Dodt (Aus) 72 71 74 70, Terry Pilkadaris (Aus) 73 71 68 75, Chinnarat Phadungsil (Tha) 67 74 73 73

288Anthony Wall 74 71 71 72, Anthony Kang (USA) 73 71 72 72, Mars Pucay (Phi) 75 70 70 73, Guido Van Der Valk (Ned) 72 72 71 73, Gregory Havret (Fra) 71 72 72 73

289David Gleeson (Aus) 71 73 72 73, Stephen Gallacher 72 69 75 73, Joost Luiten (Ned) 72 73 71 73, Mark Foster 67 77 71 74, Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) 73 71 74 71, Mark Purser (Nzl) 74 71 72 72, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 70 72 75 72

290Mark f Haastrup (Den) 67 77 75 71, Antonio Lascuna (Phi) 72 72 73 73, Simon Khan 71 74 76 69, Matthew Griffin (Aus) 72 69 73 76

291M Sasidaran (Mal) 69 73 74 75, Sang-moon Bae (Kor) 69 74 74 74, David Horsey 72 72 76 71, Danny Chia (Mal) 71 71 78 71, Digvijay Singh (Ind) 69 75 75 72

292Robert Rock 68 75 72 77, Markus Brier (Aut) 70 73 76 73, Chris Rodgers 70 75 73 74, Hiroyuki Fujita (Jpn) 72 71 75 74, Paul Broadhurst 75 68 73 76

293Juvic Pagunsan (Phi) 74 70 73 76, C Muniyappa (Ind) 73 72 72 76, Julien Quesne (Fra) 74 71 76 72, Wen Teh Lu (Tpe) 69 76 73 75

294Unho Park (Aus) 70 73 76 75, James Kamte (Rsa) 74 71 78 71

295Ross Bain 68 77 76 74

298Steven Jeppesen (Swe) 72 72 72 82

301Scott Hend (Aus) 73 72 81 75

303Tony Carolan (Aus) 73 72 78 80