Sunday, May 13, 2012


SEOUL, May 13 - Kim Bi-o underscored his tremendous talent by cruising to a five-stroke victory on Sunday in the GS Caltex Maekyung Open Golf Championship at Namseoul Country Club in the South Korean capital.
The 21-year-old South Korean shot a four-under-par 68 for a final 15-under 273 on the hilly 6,964 yard (6,368 metre) course, the third stop on the 2012 OneAsia circuit.
"I have always dreamed of winning this tournament more than any other in Korea," said a delighted Bi-o. "People who win here tend to go on to greater things".
It was Bi-o's second victory of a professional career that started just three years ago, and also his second on OneAsia having claimed the Nanshan China Masters last year following a four-man play-off.

It earned him 200 million Korean won (U.S. $171,146.42) and puts him in second place in the OneAsia Order of Merit behind Australian Nick Cullen, winner of the Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open.
Korean Ryu Hyun-woo closed with a final round 66 to grab second place on Sunday, a shot ahead of ahead of countryman Kang Kyung-nam.
Bi-o leapt into the spotlight last year as the youngest player on the PGA tour, but he found it a struggle in the big league and lost his card.
He admits to having been a bit star-struck.
"I was a little bit too eager," he said. "I was playing with all the best players in the world and I was trying too hard to keep up."
Bi-o will stay in South Korea for next week's SK Telecom Open, also on OneAsia, before returning to the United States and the Nationwide Tour in hope of regaining a place at the top table. His is currently 25th on the money list, with the top 25 graduating to the PGA tour at the end of the season.
With the kind of maturity Bi-o displayed this week, he will be a different prospect second time around.Nattily dressed in loud check trousers and a black shirt, Bi-o started Sunday with a nervous bogey before settling his nerves with a birdie on the second.He then put on a flawless display with four more birdies that left the field scrambling in his wake.Bi-o nearly secured victory with a 30 foot (10 metre) putt from off the green on the last, but was left with a tap-in that his playing partners jokingly made him mark as they holed out.Defending champion Kim Kyung-tae had an out-of-sorts week summed up by a triple bogey on the seventh and three bogeys on the last three holes that saw him finish on two under and a share of 15th place.Best of the non-Koreans in the field was Australian Jamie Arnold, who recovered from two opening bogeys to close with a 69 for a three-under total and share of 12th.



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