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Sergio Garcia wins in Korea

Spaniard Sergio Garcia claimed his first title in Asia in record-breaking fashion when he won the US$350,000 Kolon Cup Korean Open by three shots today.

The world number five fired a five-under-par 67 in the final round at Seoul Hanyang Country Club for a 23-under 265 winning total, which is a new tournament record and also the lowest four-round aggregate on the Davidoff Tour this season.

It was Garcia’s third success of the year following victories in the Mercedes Championship on the US PGA Tour and the Spanish Open on the European Tour. Garcia picked up US$81,900 for his superb efforts.

Korea’s Kang Wook-soon settled for the runner-up spot after closing with a 69. Kang, who won US$40,950, drew level on the third hole when Garcia dropped a shot but was eventually subdued by the Spaniard’s sheer brilliance.

Garcia opened a two-shot lead at the turn following birdies on the fourth, sixth and eighth holes but to Kang’s credit, he battled gamely. The Korean, who has won a record seven titles on the Davidoff Tour, birdied the sixth and eighth as well but dropped his first bogey of the day on the seventh hole.

Kang birdied the 10th to lie just one behind but the next hole proved decisive with Garcia knocking in a birdie against a bogey by Kang. The local hero battled on with another birdie on 16 but the champion enjoyed the final hurrah with his sixth birdie of the round at 18.

A trio of Korean veterans – Choi Gwang-soo, Park Nam-sin and Kim Jong-duk – shared third place on 275, 10 shots behind the winner. Choi carded a 66 in the final round, Kim had a 68 while Park, who won the first title on the Asian PGA circuit in 1995, shot a 72.

Home hero Choi Kyung-ju, the first Korean to win on the US PGA Tour following his historic triumph at the Compaq Classic in May, finished tied sixth after a 69 alongside Japan’s Sushi Ishigaki, who shot a 73, and Korean Jun Tae-hyun, who came in with a 66.

Australia’s Adam Scott settled for tied 14th place after a 73, his second of the week, while India’s Arjun Atwal, the current Davidoff Tour Order of Merit leader, was well down the leaderboard in equal 49th place.

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