Taichi Kho (HK) fired a final round two under par 70 to win by two shots in the $1 million World City Championship presented by the Hong Kong Golf Club on the Asian Tour.
He graduated at the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January, in 24th place, made it through to the weekend in the two Tour events he played after that, and then onto this week. He became the first player from Hong Kong to win on the Asian Tour.
Victory also secured Kho a spot at The Open Championship and a two-year exemption on the Tour.
He started the final day of the shortened 54-hole tournament with a four shot lead. He dropped shots on holes three and six to reduce his lead to two. He holed from 50 yards for a birdie on the ninth and then a tricky five footer for par at the next to get back on track. He played the final nine in level par 36, with two birdies and two bogeys to take the title in his home city.
New Zealand's Michael Hendry finished second, two shots back, with Travis Smyth (AUS) in third on nine under.
‘It feels like a dream - don't wake me up,’ Kho said as he stepped off the 18th green.
‘It was hard for me to keep it [under control] walking up the 18th because I knew what was in front of me. Just being at home in front of everyone, having my parents here, it just means the world to me.’
The top four players qualified for The Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club to be played later in July this year; Kho, Hendry, Smyth and Bio Kim (KOR), with Kim winning the last spot on a tie, thanks to a better World Ranking.
Dubai based Shiv Kapur (IND) shot a final round 69 to finish his tournament in 31st place with rounds of 71 and 67 plus today’s round.
Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) shot a final round one over par 71, to finish with rounds of 71, 66 and 71 to finish in tied 39th.
Shiv told GULF NEWS on completing his round, ‘I played well today – we got some pretty tough conditions this morning with the steady rain to finish my round. But overall I played well and was pleased with my play and overall game.’
‘My game is trending in the right direction and I now have two weeks off to recharge the batteries in Bali and then head to Vietnam for my next tournament on the Asian Tour,’ concluded Shiv.
Results – tournament reduced to 54 holes (Par 72, 6,710 Yards)
1 - T. Kho (HK) 64, 64, 70 = 198
2 - M. Hendry (NZ) 68, 64, 68 = 200
3 - T. Smyth (AUS) 69, 68, 66 = 201
4 - M. Tabuena (PHI) 63, 67, 72 = 202
- B. Kim (KOR) 68, 69, 65 = 202