The 22-year-old Noh closed with a 2-under 69 for a five-stroke victory in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. He finished at 12-under 272 on Ohio State’s Scarlet Course and earned $180,000 to take the series lead with $210,125.
“I got started pretty solidly today and then I made a bogey on the third hole and I had just a one-shot lead after four holes,” Noh said. “I just started thinking to just keep going and play like it’s the first round. I wasn’t nervous today and felt very comfortable.”
|Korea’s Noh Seung-yul poses with the winner’s trophy in Columbus, Ohio, Sunday. (AFP-Yonhap News)|
He rebounded with birdies on Nos. 5-7.
“The birdie on No. 5 was the turning point,” Noh said. “I hit a 5-iron to about 4 feet and then on No. 6, I made about a 35-40-footer for another birdie.”
His PGA Tour card secured, Noh is returning home to South Korea for the first time since December. He will miss the series-ending Web.com Tour Championship on Sept. 26-29 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
The bulk of the series field is made up of players in the top 75 on the Web.com Tour money list and Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings. The top 25 on the Web.com regular-season money list are assured PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season, while the other players are fighting for 25 additional cards through earnings in the finals. The money leader in the four events will be fully exempt and earn a spot in The Players Championship.
Noh was 160th in the FedEx Cup standings. He opened the series with a seventh-place tie in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and missed the cut last week in Davidson, North Carolina. Noh has two victories on the Asian Tour ― the 2008 China Classic at age 16 and the 2010 Malaysian Open.
Edward Loar was second at 7 under after a 65. Playing for a top priority ranking after finishing fourth on the Web.com money list, he’s fifth on the series list with $119,200.
“I was able to get a few birdies early and kind of got in a nice rhythm,” said Loar, the Louisiana Open winner in March. “Today was huge, absolutely. I got another chance in Sawgrass to move up some more on the list, but today’s finish ought to move me up a bit.”
John Peterson followed at 6 under after a 66. After finishing 30th on the Web.com money list, he’s fourth in the series with $164,000 to guarantee a PGA Tour card.
“I didn’t really get anything going in the first three rounds and I actually had to battle just to make the cut on Friday,” Peterson said. “It was nice that it finally turned around.”
The former LSU star, the only player to finish in the top 10 in each of the three series events, is looking forward to the week off before the finale.
“I’m going to the Auburn game on Saturday and I can’t wait,” Peterson said. “I’m out of gas. I am. I’m out of gas.”
Ben Martin (67), Chesson Hadley (71) and South Africa’s Tyrone Van Aswegen (73) tied for fourth at 4 under. Martin was second on the Web.com money list, Hadley third, and Van Aswegen 49th.
Aswegen is 19th on three-event money list with $41,333. Factoring out the players ahead of him who finished in the top 25 on the Web.com money list, he’s 12th.
Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa (68) tied for seventh at 4 under. After finishing 141st in the FedEx Cup standings, the 10-time Japan Tour winner has earned $67,071 in the series to rank ninth overall and sixth in the race for the 25 available cards.