Niall Kearney lost out to teen sensation Min Kyu Kim who claimed his second title in as many weeks at a playoff at the HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour’s FORE Business Championship .
Above – Niall Kearney – image by Golffile.ie
Kim (Golfmind Korea) was the firm favourite heading into the final round after equalling the course record in his second round, carding a superb -9 (63). However, the Korean blew the title race wide open after three bogies in his last three holes to finish +1, forcing a play-off with Niall Kearney.
Kearney was deserving of a play off at least, after he finished 12-under par, carding an excellent -8 (64) final round in the process.
Both players parred the first play-off hole, before Kearney bogeyed the 18th on the second attempt which Kim comfortably putted for par.
The runner up finish moved Kearney up 19 places to 10th in the Race To Amendoeria with three events left.
Dermot McElroy (Ballymena Golf Club) shot an impressive six-under par final round to tie third place moving him up to eight place in the order of merit while Jonathan Caldwell remains in fourth place overall just inside the magic five spots that will gain European Challenge Tour cards for 2018.
After his playoff victory Kim said “I’m so happy with my second win, I played really well up until my final three holes”: Kim claimed a £10,000 winners cheque as well as a brand new Motocaddy S3 PRO electric trolley with lithium battery, Bushnell Pro X2 Range Finder and Bolle sunglasses.
“I was really nervous heading into the play-off but I just tried to relax, manage my game, and tried to enjoy it. It’s been a really long day and I’m very tired but it felt great when that final putt fell in.”
Kim climbs to 2nd in the Race To Amendoeria with three events left, and faces a very real chance of challenging for the £250,000 four-win bonus, with current leader Chris Lloyd, in his current form.
Kim added: “Chris Lloyd is a great player and it’s a good feeling knowing I’m close to his total tour wins this year. I’d like to thank EuroPro Tour, East Sussex National Golf Club, and Golfmind Korea for all of their support this year.”
Above: Min Kyu Kim with the FORE Business Championship trophy
Highlights of the FORE Business Championship will air on Sky Sports Golf on Tuesday, September 5. The HotelPlanner.com PGA EuroPro Tour continues with the Jessie May World Snooker Golf Championship at Collingtree Park Golf Club, Wednesday, August 30 – Friday, September 1.