November 30: Korea’s Choi Jinho came agonisingly close to snatching OneAsia’s Order of Merit title from the grasp of countryman Moon Kyongjun at the season-ending Emirates Australian Open on Sunday.
Needing a top-10 finish to overhaul Moon at the top of the moneylist standings, Choi shot a final round 72 for joint 18th spot and a cheque for US$10,792.
That brought the 2015 SK Telecom Open winner’s earnings for the year to US$217,447, just US$7,506 shy of Moon’s total.
Moon set the target early in the season with victory in the GS Caltex Maekyung Open and followed up with a fifth place finish in the Kolon Korea Open.
The 32 year old joined a distinguished list of former moneylist winners including Scott Strange (Australia), Liang Wenchong (China), Andre Stolz (Australia), Kim Bio (Korea), Matt Griffin (Australia) and Kim Seunghyuk (Korea).
Former OneAsia winner Nick Cullen of Australia also had reason to celebrate as the 2012 Indonesia Open champion secured a spot in next year’s Open championship at Royal Troon thanks to a fifth place finish.
“It is probably one of the most memorable experiences I have had (playing at The Open in 2012). Unfortunately I missed the cut by a shot but links golf, I have always loved it, so playing at Troon is going to be amazing,” he said.
“It’s unbelievable. I didn’t think it would be enough coming in. I thought I needed to make a couple of putts in the last couple of holes but I’ll take it. I’m very happy.”
Emirates Australian Open winner Matt Jones, who pipped world number one Jordan Spieth and former champion Adam Scott by a shot, also stamped his ticket to The Open along with Rod Pampling, whose course record 61 in the final round at The Australian Golf Club saw him finish in fourth spot.