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Teenager Noh Seung-yul snatches title

South Korean teenager Noh Seung-yul demonstrated nerves of steel to win the Malaysian Open by one shot on Sunday after a magical final-hole birdie.

The 18-year-old floated a superb chip shot from behind a hospitality marquee to within four feet as his four-under-par 68 edged out compatriot KJ Choi, who closed with a 69.

Noh finished with a winning total of 14-under 274 in Kuala Lumpur as the joint overnight leaders, Thai Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Britain’s Rhys Davies, slipped back with 71s.

“It was a good up-and-down,” Noh said of his finish at the 18th. “This week I’ve had three or four chip-ins for birdies and I also chipped it in today on number one.

“That kind of gave me a good vibe so I was able to close it out,” added Noh, who has now secured Tour cards in Japan, Asia and Europe after winning the $2 million co-sanctioned Asian and European Tour event.

“My ultimate goal is to try to make it on the US PGA Tour. Playing in Europe and Japan and Asia will definitely help me on the road to getting my U.S. card.”

Noh stepped on to the final tee with a one-stroke lead but hooked his drive badly before hitting his second shot on to the cart path running along the practice putting green.

With Choi having just birdied the 18th, Noh calmly chipped over a greenside bunker to leave himself a short putt for victory.

“Hats off to Seung-yul,” said Choi. “He had a fantastic round. I have no complaints. He is one of the most powerful young talents coming up.

“The way that he controls and hits the ball is like no other and I think he has a very bright future.”

Denmark’s Soren Hansen shot a 70 for a share of third with Kiradech and Davies, while Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, who began the final round one off the lead, fell away with an even-par 72.

Sunday’s final round belonged to Noh, whose father caddied for him during the tournament at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

“KJ asked me when my last win was,” he said. “I told him it was in 2008 and he goes: ‘Well its about time you won!’

“For it to happen this week, I couldn’t think of a better situation.”

Scores

MAYBANK MALAYSIAN OPEN RELATED STORIES





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