Lahore, Pakistan: Korean teenager Kim Joo-hyung continued his remarkable run of success with a dominant wire-to-wire victory at the US$80,000 Raya Pakistan Open.
For the Thailand-based 17-year-old, it was his third Asian Development Tour (ADT) title this season, making him just the third player in the Tour’s history to achieve that feat, after Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang and Thai Pavit Tangkamolprasert.
Thanks to his latest triumph, Kim has earned immediate playing rights on the Asian Tour for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Eleven strokes clear at the summit heading into the final round, Kim’s lead never came under threat. He was able to coast home with a closing one-over-par 73 at the Defence Raya Golf and Country Club, clinching the title by nine shots.
“I know I had a big lead, but golf is a game that is not over until you have played the last hole. There were some tough pins out there and I made some mistakes, so fortunately that big lead helped,” said Kim, who won in Malaysia and Indonesia earlier this season.
It was a physically demanding weekend for Kim who had to play 28 holes on Saturday.
“I lost a lot of energy after those 28 holes. Today, I got off to a shaky start, but I told myself to hang in there and finish as strongly as I can.
“Moving to Thailand last year helped me to develop my game a lot. There are a lot of good golfers there and playing with them has made me better. But I still have a lot to learn,” said Kim, who cemented his position as the Order of Merit leader with accumulated earnings of US$59,444.47.
Pakistan’s Muhammad Shabbir finished second after posting a 67, while Fiji’s Sam Lee came in third courtesy of his final round 68. Singaporean Choo Tze Huang settled for fourth after signing off with a 74.