Glasgow: Korea`s Jin Jeong made history
Sunday when he became the first Asian winner of the
prestigious Amateur Golf Championship.
Jeong, 20, produced a superb display of putting to defeat
James Byrne of Scotland 5&4 in Sunday`s 36-hole final at
Muirfield, East Lothian.
The Korean took the title with a birdie at the 32nd hole,
his tenth of the day.
"I`ve never putted better than that," said Jeong, a 5&4
winner in Saturday`s semi-final. "I was quite nervous all
week, especially before today (Sunday). But I came here this
week really wanting to win. I wanted this title so badly."
Thanks to his victory, the current world number 10, who
plays his golf in Australia representing Waverley Golf Club,
earns an exemption into the 150th Anniversary Open
Championship and an invitation to the 2011 Masters Tournament.
"I hoped that I was going to win the Amateur and come back
for The Open because I`ve been watching The Open on TV every
year since Ernie Els won at Muirfield in 2002. That was the
first time I`d ever watched it," he said.
"I really wanted to know what it was like to play out of
knee-high rough! "I always hoped that my first Major would be
The Open. Now I can play at St Andrews. It means everything.
It`s a dream come true."
Jeong becomes the second Korean amateur to earn a place
at St Andrews, the other being Eric Chun, who secured his Open
berth at International Final Qualifying - Asia earlier in the
Byrne, meanwhile, narrowly missed out on becoming the
first Scot to win the Amateur Championship on home soil since
Stuart Wilson, who won at the Home of Golf in 2004.
The world number 20 was denied the chance of finding the
form he had shown in previous rounds.
"The conditions were much tougher today. Not only was it
windy, but there were a lot of cross winds, and he [Jeong]
seemed to handle it well - really good ball control. I was
struggling with that," said Byrne.
"I don`t know how he putted so well. Every putt he hit
was just perfect speed - it was unbelievable. He never really
gave me a chance."