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Cool Canadian holds off challenge from charging Yuan

China Daily | Updated: 2018-09-05 09:51
Canada's Richard Jung tracks a shot during the final round of the Suzhou Open on Sunday. [Photo/IC]

QINHUANGDAO, Hebei province - Canada's Richard Jung vaulted from 35th to eighth on the PGA Tour Series-China's order of merit after earning 270,000 yuan (around $40,000) for his dramatic two-stroke win over playing partner "Carl" Yuan Yechun at the Suzhou Open on Sunday.

The top 10 on the money list are all competing at this week's Qinhuangdao Championship (Sept 6-9) before the tour has a two-week break and wraps up with the Macao Championship (Sept 27-30), Zhuhai Championship (Oct 4-7) and Clearwater Bay Open in Hong Kong (Oct 11-14).

Jung's surprise triumph at Jinji Lake Golf Club in Jiangsu province followed just one previous top-10 this year, a tie for eighth at the season-opening Chengdu Championship.

In Suzhou, the unflappable Canadian led from the start, sharing the lead with England's Callum Tarren after the first three rounds before his birdie on the 18th ended an inspired charge by Yuan, the 21-year-old Chinese who turned pro last week.

"My goal before the event was to finish in the top 25 on the order of merit and get into the second qualifying stage (for the Tour) because I was so far down on the money list," Jung said after the biggest win of his career and first in a 72-hole event.

"Now my goal has changed to finishing in the top 10, if not the top five.

"You never know what is going to happen. We have four events left, so hopefully I will get another win."

Yuan almost won his first pro title just six weeks after becoming the tour's second amateur champion by winning the Qingdao Championship, for which he was unable to accept the winner's check of 270,000 yuan

The big-hitting Yuan won 162,000 yuan for his solo second in Suzhou to enter the money list in 30th place as he seeks to make the most of his new earning potential.

Yuan turned professional on Aug 28 after helping China win team silver at the Asian Games in Indonesia.

Tarren, 27, remained second on the order of merit, but his third-place finish in Suzhou helped him close the gap on leader Charlie Saxon of the US, who pocketed 863,667 yuan for finishing eighth.

"My goal is to keep putting money on the board," said Tarren, who has six second-place finishes but no wins on the tour.

"I've had another fantastic week and I've closed the gap on Charlie so I just have to keep going and keep improving."

South Korea's Todd Baek (548,650 yuan), American Joseph Winslow (496,717 yuan) and Hong Kong's Motin Yeung (493,375 yuan) rounded out the tournament's top five finishers.

The top 25 players after this week's Qinhuangdao Championship are exempt from the second stage of the Tour qualifying tournament, which will be held from Oct 30-Nov 2 and Nov 6-9.

From the final order of merit, the top five will earn status on next year's Tour and the top 10 will be exempt from the final stage of qualifying (Dec 6-9).

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