Wang holds his nerve to beat Jaco, Joakim
DOHA, Qatar: Jeunghun Wang won his third European Tour title after beating Joakim Lagergren and Jaco van Zyl in a play-off at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters yesterday.
The South Korean began the day with a three-shot lead but was caught on the back nine before retaking top spot on his own with a birdie on the 16th.
A bogey on the next dropped him into the play-off at 16-under but after taking a brave line over the back of the green on the first visit back up the 18th, he got up and down for a winning birdie.
The win for Wang comes in just his 29th European Tour event and at 21 years and 144 days old, he is the third youngest player to win three events after Matteo Manassero and Seve Ballesteros.
It was heartbreak for South African Van Zyl, who looked the favourite when he got on the green in two on the play-off hole but a second three-putt of the day cost him dear as he finished runner-up on the European Tour for the fifth time in his 150th event.
Earlier, Van Zyl carded a final round fourunder 68 to get into the play-off.
The 37-year-old, however, did have the chance to win the event on the final hole. There he was just over the par five putting surface in two, but fluffed his chip leaving 22 feet for birdie and the win. Though he gave the putt a chance, it did not drop and he had to hole the putt coming back to make it into extra holes.
Van Zyl had begun his day playing in the final group with three birdies in a row, before he added a fourth on the fifth hole. But a bogey on the par five sixth halted his progress, and he would only manage one more birdie coming home as his putter let him down.
Countryman Thomas Aiken finished on 15-under, one shot outside the play-off for a share of fourth place.
Meanwhile, 47-year-old Ernie Els showed glimpses of the form that has won him four Major titles as he ended on 11-under in a tie for 13th.
Swede Lagergren was also searching for his first win and he left himself too much work to do when he pulled his second shot in the playoff into the greenside bunker.
Wang won the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award last season after his victories at the Trophée Hassan II and the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and could now climb as high as 29th in the world golf ranking as he continues his meteoric rise.
“This feels really fantastic for me,” he said. “It’s really, really great. I’m so happy.” – europeantour.com and ANA