Kim Comes of Age with Runaway Victory

Kim Joo-hyung celebrates his maiden Asian Development Tour triumph.

Melaka, Malaysia: Teenager Kim Joo-hyung birdied three of his closing four holes to post a six-under-par 66 and secure his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) win in the RM225,000 (about US$54,000) PGM ADT Championship @ Tiara Melaka.

The 17-year-old Korean held his nerve to convert his multiple close calls this season into a stunning six-shot victory with his four-day total of 23-under-par 265 at Tiara Melaka Golf and Country Club.

Japan’s Naoki Sekito carded a flawless 66 which included an eagle on hole 16 to take a share of second place with Malaysian Sukree Othman (68). Sekito also moved into top spot on the ADT Order of Merit.

Malaysian Amir Nazrin produced the shot of the day when he scored his first ace as a professional on the fourth hole, using a nine-iron from 176 yards. He went on to sign for a 73 to end his campaign in tied-32nd.

“It feels great to finally win. I’ve come so close so many times and to be able to finish it off despite all the pressure I felt today is fantastic,” said Kim, who turned pro last year. He took home a cheque for US$9,529.28 and received six Official World Golf Ranking points.

Kim returned this morning to finish three holes for a third-round 67 and took a four-shot lead into the final round. He traded seven birdies against one bogey to become the second Korean to win on the ADT following Park Seung.

“Coming to end of the round I knew I was in control and the pressure slowly went away,” added Kim, who is also a two-time winner on the Philippine Golf Tour.

Prior to this week, Kim was knocking hard on the door to his first ADT victory with three top-five finishes this year, highlighted by a joint runner-up result in Thailand last month.

“I was in the eighth spot on the Order of Merit before this week. I’m glad to finally move into the top-seven and hopefully I can win a couple more events this year to stay up there,” added the Korean, who moved up to third spot on the Merit list.

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