Jakarta, Indonesia: Inspired by the support of his father, Park Seung became the first Korean to win on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) after prevailing on the second play-off hole to claim his maiden professional title at the OB Golf Invitational.
Starting the day four shots off the pace, Park traded five birdies against a solitary bogey to close with a four-under-par 68, matching the four-day effort of Thailand’s Panuwat Muenlek, who returned with a 67, at the US$65,000 event.
The duo, who were tied on 14-under 274 following regulation play, returned to the par-five 18th hole for the sudden-death play-off at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, a regular host venue on the Asian Tour.
It was 22-year-old Park who eventually triumphed after edging out Panuwat with a par against a bogey on the 74th hole. Despite taking four shots to reach the green, Park rolled in a 12-footer for par while Panuwat two-putted from six feet for a painful bogey.
“I didn’t expect anything coming into this week. It feels so surreal to win, especially with my father cheering me on. I almost cried walking off the green after I sank that putt,” said the Korean, who missed the mark at the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January.
Park, who had his father supporting him from the sidelines, took home a cheque for US$11,375 and received six Official World Golf Ranking points.
“It has been a tough few years and I haven’t been striking it well since I finished my military service in January. My game just peaked at the right time and I am glad to have earned my first professional victory,” added Park, who soared to seventh place on the ADT Order of Merit.
Panuwat was philosophical in defeat. “I played really well today, coming back from five shots behind. Even though I lost, I am happy because I gave myself a chance to fight for another ADT victory in a play-off. I will keep trying because I know a win will come soon,” said the 33-year-old Thai, who has four ADT titles to his name.