Chung wins second KPGA Tour title of the season after defeating Kang Kyung Nam
Chung Chan-min, renowned as one of the longest hitters on the Korean Professional Golf (KPGA) Tour, won the KPGA Korean Tour Golf Zone-Doray Open ($700 million in prize money) in a playoff on the final day at Seonsan Country Club (Par 72) in Golf Zone County, Gumi-si, Gyeongbuk, on Friday.
Chung, who shot a seven-under 65 on the day, was six strokes behind Kang, who finished with a final four-round total of 21-under 267, forcing a playoff.
In the first overtime at the 18th hole (par-5), Chung had to get his ball on the green in three after his tee shot left the fairway, but he was saved by Kang’s birdie putt, which he missed by just over two metres.
In the second extra session, Chung took advantage of his long-hitting advantage.
After hitting his tee shot accurately, Chung hit an iron to the green with 201 metres to go for an easy birdie.
After hitting his second shot with 224 metres to go, Kang hit his second shot through a bunker and reached the green in three, failing to make birdie.
It was the second win in six months for Chung, who won his first career title at the GS Caltex Mae Kyung Open in May.
He is only the second player on the KPGA Korean Tour to win at least two events this season, following three victories.
The victory marks a spectacular return to form for Chung, who hit a fearsome 350-yarder to win the GS Caltex Mae Kyung Open in May and tied for seventh at the Woori Financial Championship before suffering a shoulder injury and never finishing in the top 10 in 13 tournaments.
The Gumi, Gyeongbuk, native, who attended Osan High School in Gumi, Gyeongbuk, was particularly pleased to win on a course he played frequently as a junior.
“I want to win the final event of the season as well,” she said, “and I plan to compete in the LIV Golf Selection in December.”
Entering the final round in a tie for fifth place, three shots behind Kim, Chung had one eagle and six birdies by the 11th hole to get into contention for the title.
After picking up an eagle on the sixth (par-5) with her second shot, dropping her ball three metres to the side of the hole, Chung’s morale was boosted on the eighth (par-3) when her lob shot from 20 metres outside the green found the hole for a stunning birdie.
He birdied his next four holes from the eighth to reach 20-under and was one shot behind Kang Kyung-nam, who holed a shot eagle at the 12th (par-4), but birdied the 18th (par-5) to move into a share of the lead.
Kang failed to hold his third shot at the 18th (par-5) and missed a five-metre birdie putt, giving Chung a chance.
Kang, who was looking for his 12th career victory in two years and two months after winning the 2021 Bizplay Electronics Newspaper Open, had to settle for runner-up honours after failing to make a single birdie in three 18-hole playoffs, including the fourth round and two extra holes.
It was Kang’s second runner-up finish of the year after the Kolon Korea Open in June.
Third-round leader Kim Han-byul could only manage a two-stroke improvement to finish in a tie for third place (19-under 269).
Defending champion Park Eun-shin saved her dignity by finishing tied for fifth (17-under-par 271) after a three-under-par 69. 먹튀검증