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Golf: Korea’s Noh nails first PGA Tour victory in New Orleans

Noh Seung-yul, 22, won his first PGA Tour title at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Photos: AFP.

Noh Seung-yul, 22, won his first PGA Tour title at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Photos: AFP.

April 28, 2014: Noh Seung-yul was showered with beer by Korean compatriots YE Yang and Charlie Wi after the youngster overcame windy conditions and his nerves to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans by two shots for his first PGA Tour victory. Noh shot a one-under-par 71 on Sunday to finish at 19-under 269.

 

The 22-year-old, the youngest winner this season, wore yellow and black ribbons on his hat to honour the more than 300 dead or missing in the Sewol ferry disaster.

 

After becoming the first to play 54 holes at TPC Louisiana without a bogey, Noh said he hoped he could string together one more bogey-free round and come through with a victory to lift the spirits of his nation.

 

The youngster – who played on the Korean, Asian and European Tours before moving to the US – accomplished the second part to become the seventh first-time PGA Tour winner in the last 10 years of the event.

 

The third-round leader never fell out of first place on Sunday, but he did make his first three bogeys of the tournament and briefly fell into a tie with playing partner Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA Championship winner who had the gallery behind him.

 

However, Bradley suffered a bogey on the fifth hole and a triple bogey on the sixth, while Noh remained steady enough to hold off his remaining challengers for a memorable win.

 

“I’m very excited, very happy,” said Noh, who is in his third season on the PGA Tour. “It was very challenging out there today, especially playing with Keegan, a major champion.

 

YE Yang (far left) and Charlie Wi (second left) shower Noh with beer at TPC Louisiana.

YE Yang (far left) and Charlie Wi (second left) shower Noh with beer at TPC Louisiana.

“It was very windy today, so it played really tough. I played fantastic today to make my first victory on the PGA Tour.”

 

Noh’s previous best finish in 77 previous PGA Tour starts was a tie for fourth at the 2012 AT&T National and his New Orleans win helped him move to 16th in the FedExCup standings and earn a place in The Players Championship next month.

 

“It was a very good experience this week, becoming the youngest player to win this year,” he said. “I look at Rory [McIlroy], Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, all the younger guys who have won a few times, so I want to keep working hard and catch up with those guys.”

 

Andrew Svoboda (69) and Robert Streb (70) tied for second, while Jeff Overton – who briefly pulled within a stroke of Noh when he made a 20-foot birdie putt on 10 – had a 70 to finish fourth at 16-under.

 

However, Overton bogeyed 11 when he hit his drive into a bunker left of the fairway and his second shot over the fairway and right of the cart path. He never came closer than two strokes again.

 

Bradley, who shot a 65 on Saturday to draw within two of Noh, eventually carded a closing 75 to tie for eighth at 13-under.

 

Robert Garrigus, who narrowly made the cut Friday, had the best score on Sunday with a 64. The round included a 374-yard drive with a tail wind on 18, which he birdied to finish at 14-under.

 

For more information, visit: www.pgatour.com

 

Sources: PGA Tour

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