by Waylon Galvez
STA. ROSA, Laguna – Korean Kim Joo Hyung buried a clutch birdie putt on the 16th to outlast Filipino bets Clyde Mondilla and Keanu Jahns and rule the 2019 Don Pocholo Razon Memorial Cup The Country Club Invitational tournament yesterday here.
He finished the day with a two-over 74 to win the event by one over Jahns after a four-day aggregate of 290. By doing do, he became the youngest winner of the event at 16.
The Korean practically sealed his second title on Philippine soil with a solid second shot from 220 yards.
That shot saw the ball land just four feet away from the cup and he handled the pressure very well to make the all-important birdie of the day.
Kim parred the next hole before bogeying the 18th which hardly mattered at all.
The day’s disappointment was Mondilla who struggled with a 76 and finished third at 292 in the event held in honor of ICTSI chairman Ricky Razon’s father Don Pocholo Razon, the founder of the ICTSI.
The Korean and Mondilla started the day enjoying a four-shot lead over Jahns.
For his win, the Korean got the handsome top purse of P1.5 million.
Kim immediately dedicated his victory to his 86-year-old grandmother, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
“I got the information Monday before the tournament started. It was a motivation for me to win, she kept me fighting and inside me I really wanted to win… this is for her,” said Kim, who won his second title since turning pro last year.
“With this victory, it gives me a huge confidence booster. Especially that I won on this course against the top 30 on the PGT (Philippine Golf Tour), for me to come up on top is really a huge boost,” added Kim, who plans to rest for a week before he returns to action on a tournaments in Indonesia.
It was a thrilling finish, particularly at the back nine as the last flight of Kim, Mondilla and Jahns were locked in a three-way tie at two-over heading to 15 after the native of Seoul bogeyed the 14th.
Mondilla had a roller-coaster performance following a birdie on 12, but he tied Kim at one-over as the latter made a double bogey on hole No. 9 and birdied the next.
Former three-time champion Angelo Que finished fifth at 302, followed by Guido Van Der Valk at 303, while Justin Quiban and Yugoslav Peter Stojanovski finished tied for seventh and eighth with a 305. At ninth and 10th are Jhonel Ababa and last year’s winner Micah Shin of the US at 306.