SPORTS

Korean Wang Jeung-hun wins on European Tour

By KH디지털2
  • Published : May 9, 2016 - 09:27
  • Updated : May 9, 2016 - 17:16

South Korean golfer Wang Jeung-hun captured his first European Tour win in Morocco on Sunday (local time) in a sudden-death playoff.

Wang defeated Nacho Elvira on the second playoff hole to claim the Trophee Hassan II at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat, Morocco, and take home 250,000 euros ($284,890). He also earned a two-year exemption on the European Tour.

Wang, 20, is the second South Korean to win on the European Tour in three weeks, after Lee Soo-min, who won the Shenzhen International last month.

Wang drained three crucial putts on the par-five 18th hole for the victory. He holed an 18-footer for a birdie to end regulation at five-under 283, tied with Elvira.

In the playoff, the trophy appeared within Elvira's grasp when he reached the 18th green in two, but Wang responded by sinking a 50-foot birdie putt to force another trip to the 18th.

Wang then converted from 20 feet out for the winning birdie putt.

"I don't remember how I putted on the last three holes," Wang was quoted as saying on the European Tour's website. "I just tried to make a birdie. I didn't think about anything; I just putted. It's so exciting right now."

Wang has played on the Asian Tour since 2013, and ranked ninth on the circuit's money list last season.

In March this year, Wang finished tied for second at the Hero Indian Open, a tournament co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the European Tour.

At 20 years and 256 days, Wang is the youngest European Tour champion in 2016.

In the latest world rankings released Monday, Wang soared 45 spots to reach No. 88. He's the fourth highest-ranked South Korean, behind An Byeong-hun (No. 24), Kim Kyung-tae (No. 43) and Lee Soo-min (No. 68).

The world's top-15 players as of July 11 will be eligible for this year's Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, starting on Aug. 5.

There is a limit of four players per country, and those that don't already have two or more players inside the top 15 can field a maximum of two golfers.

Unless An can crack the top 15 in the next two months, he and Kim will likely represent the country as golf makes its first Olympic appearance since 1904. (Yonhap)