GO GUN-TAEK WIN’S ‘SEASON 3’ AT KPGA, 5 YEARS AFTER DOMINATING SHINHAN DONGHAE OPEN

Go Gun-taek, 23, became the first player in five years to win three titles on the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Korean Tour.Ko shot a 4-under 68 with an eagle, five birdies, a bogey and a double bogey in the final round of the 39th Shinhan Donghae Open (total prize money of 1.4 billion won) at the Ocean Course (par-72, 7,204 yards) at Club 72 Country Club in Jung-gu, Incheon on Tuesday.With a final total of 19-under-par 269, Ko finished tied with Pachara Kongwatmai (Thailand), who won with a birdie on the first hole of the playoff. He took home 252 million won.Ko, who has played on the Korean Tour since 2020, lifted the trophy for the first time at the season-opening DB Insurance PromiOpen in April, followed by the Honors K-Solago CC Hanjangsang Invitational in July and this event, giving him three victories this season.He is the first player on the Korean Tour to win three titles in a season since Park Sang-hyun (three) in 2018.The Shinhan Donghae Open is co-organized by the Korean Tour, Japan Golf Tour (JGTO) and Asian Tour, and Ko is seeded fifth on the Korean Tour and second on the JGTO and Asian Tour.Ko Gun-taek, who was tied for the lead with Lee Tae-hoon (CAN) through the third round, dropped four shots in the first half of the day, including an eagle on the seventh hole (par-5), to take a one-stroke lead, but a bogey on the 10th hole (par-4), the first hole of the second half, led to a tussle for the lead.As the champions struggled to reduce their mid-round deficit, Kong Wattmai, who started the day over an hour earlier, emerged as the dark horse with a birdie at the 15th to move to nine under par.The South Korean rebounded with a birdie at the par-5 13th to get back to within three shots after a double bogey at the par-4 14th.At the 15th (par-4), Ko and Lee hit sharp second shots side-by-side for birdie to pull within one shot of Kong Wattmai.While Lee bogeyed the next hole (par-4) to put himself out of contention, Ko breathed a sigh of relief when his birdie putt sailed more than a meter over the hole to save par.Ko kept his hopes of a comeback alive at the 17th (par-3), where he holed his third shot with 97 meters to spare, giving him a perfect birdie opportunity and sending the match into extra holes.The tide turned on the second shot of the first overtime on the 18th hole.With a third shot in mind, Ko’s softly struck second shot landed in the left rough, while Kong’s strong second shot, aiming for a two-on, went into the water.After being penalized, Kongwatmai put his fourth shot on the green and holed his first attempted par 온라인카지노 putt to put the pressure on Ko, but Ko calmly lined up his third shot for birdie to level the match.

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