Chang Savours Belated Breakthrough Victory

Chang Yik-eun shows off the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship trophy. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour.

Linkou, Chinese Taipei: Chang Yik-eun shook off his bridesmaid’s tag when he closed with a flawless six-under-par 66 to seal a three-shot victory for his maiden Asian Tour title at the US$500,000 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC).

The 25-year-old Korean, a three-time runner-up on the Asian Tour, overcame a one-shot deficit as he rode a hot putter to return with a bogey-free round highlighted by six birdies at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.

Chang took home the winner’s prize purse of US$90,000 following his breakthrough win.His winning total of 21-under-par 267 marked the lowest 72-hole score in the tournament’s 10-year history.

Reflecting on his triumph, Chang said: “This is my first Asian Tour win and it means a lot to me. I’ve been on this Tour for four years and I’ve had three second place finishes already. I just couldn’t get it done.But it feels really nice to get it done now. I’m planning to take a one-week break in Taipei before heading home.”

Talented Thai rookie Kosuke Hamamoto continued his fine form to sign for a bogey-free 67 and record his best result on the Asian Tour with a second-place finish. The 20-year-old Hamamoto kept bogeys off his card for the last 52 holes.

Local hotshot Chan Shih-chang was disappointed not to recapture the trophy on home soil after battling to a 70 to finish in third place on 271. The 33-year-old, however, stayed positive as he capped his best result this season after missing six cuts in eight starts prior to this week.

Overnight leader Lin Wen-tang settled a further shot back in fourth following a 72 but took pride in his commendable result, which marked his fourth top-five finish in 10 attempts at the Yeangder TPC.

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