Kim pips Chonlatit in playoff to take maiden Asian Tour title

motorsport05 May 2024 09:34| © AFP
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Kim © @asiantourgolf

South Korea's Kim Hong-taek secured his maiden Asian Tour victory with a playoff success over Thailand's Chonlatit Chuenboonngam in challenging conditions at the Maekyung Open on Sunday.

Kim (69) and Chonlatit (71) both finished at 10-under par 274 as rain lashed the mountainous 7 083-yard, par-71 Namseoul Country Club layout which has hosted almost every edition of the Maekyung Open since it began in 1982.

Kim could not contain his delight as he rolled in a four-footer for par to win at the first playoff hole, only his second professional title after his win at the Korean domestic tour's Busan Open in 2017.

"Yes, it's been seven years since my first win but Namseoul Country Club is such a hard course I didn't think I could get my second here. But I did," said a smiling Kim.

Kim, who began the day on eight-under-par, three off the lead, struggled at the start, dropping shots at the second and third as rain hammered down.

He clawed them back with birdies at the next two holes but a double-bogey six at the eighth took him to the turn in two-over 38, four shots off the pace.

But a stunning back nine of 31 in filthy conditions, including a run of four birdies in five holes, gave him a two-under 69 and thrilled the hardy home galleries who braved the weather.

In third place, two strokes behind Kim, was Canada's Richard T. Lee who carded a final-round 71.


Overnight leader Lee Jung-hwan had a disastrous final day, carding a four-over 75 to drop back into a tie for fourth place on seven-under-par.

He shared that mark with fellow South Koreans Jan Yu-bin and Ok Tae-hoon who both had three-under 68s.

Another South Korean, Hwang Jung-gon shot the round of the day, a bogey-free five-under 66, to get into solo seventh place at six-under par 278.

Asian Tour order of merit leader John Catlin had been chasing a third Asian Tour win in a row in Korea after recent victories in Macau and Jeddah.

But the American missed the halfway cut by two strokes after rounds of 71 and 74 left him three-over par.