California, United States: Korean Bae Sang-moon survived some late stutters to provide a timely lift for Asian golf as he teed-off the US PGA Tour’s 2014-15 campaign with victory in the season-opening Frys.com Open.
As well as improving his prospects of earning a place on the International Team against the US in next year’s Presidents’ Cup in Korea, Bae’s second PGA Tour win guaranteed him a return trip to the Masters in April.
Bae carded a closing one-over-par 73 at Silverado Resort and Spa for a 15-under total of 273, two ahead of Australian Steven Bowditch (67).
Japanese number one Hideki Matsuyama snared birdies on the final two holes to rise into a tie for third for the second straight year.
The 28-year -old Bae, who posted his maiden win in America at last year’s HP Byron Nelson Championship, led by six shots with just eight holes remaining.
Putting nervously, he saw his advantage shrink to just two strokes going to the final hole. There, a comfortable par enabled him to complete the job.
“I think I was a little nervous,” he said Bae, who joins Choi Kyung-ju and Yang Yong-eun as only the third Korean to win multiple PGA Tour titles. “I don’t know how many times I three-putted today. The course wasn’t easy, honestly.”
Bae won seven times on the Korean Tour between 2005 and 2010. He went on to top the 2011 Japan Tour Money List with three wins before qualifying for the PGA Tour.
He lost in a play-off to Luke Donald in his rookie season in 2012, but broke through last May at the Byron Nelson and last September also recorded his eighth Korean Tour.