BEAUMONT, Calif. (Sept 3, 2006) -- Seung-Rok Cheon used two late birdies to build a 2-shot advantage, then had to hold his breath as he dropped an 8-foot putt for bogey on the final hole, for a 1-stroke victory over Skylar Hong in the inaugural International Amateur Golf Championship at the PGA of Southern California Golf Club.
Hong mounted a nice charge during the final round and had drawn even with Cheon with only three holes to play. Cheon responded with birdies at both the 541 yard, par 5, 16th hole and the 140 yard, par 3, 17th hole to take a 2-shot lead to the final hole. Cheon split the fairway on the 465-yard finishing hole with a huge drive that left him only a sand wedge into the green. Hong was faced with a long approach from well back in the fairway, but he applied pressure by playing his second shot to within 20 feet of the hole.
"I was a little nervous on 18," said Cheon. "I hit a very good tee shot."
Cheon's sandwedge approach shot left something to be desired. He missed the green right and the ball caromed off a bank and into the water hazard, opening the door for Hong to make one last charge.
"It was a little push. Little top," said Cheon. "I was feeling a lot of pressure."
After taking his drop, Cheon played his pitch to about eight feet from the hole. Hong's putt narrowly missed the cup, and when Cheon anxiously rolled in his putt for bogey, he became the first name to go in the International Amateur Golf Championship's record book as the 2006 Champion.
By virtue of their performances, both Cheon and Hong, who were representing Korea in the Championship, earned exemptions into the 2006 California State Open Golf Championship to be held September 26-30 at Redhawk Golf Club and CrossCreek Golf Club in Temecula. They will be joined by Sean Yoon of Temecula
who finished 5-shots back of Cheon in third.
INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR GOLFCHAMPIONSHIP
- at the PGA of Southern California Golf Club, Beaumont
The Legends - Par 72
TOP 10 SCORES
211 - Seung-Rok Cheon, Los Angeles (KOREA) (70-71-70)*
212 - Skylar Hong, San Diego (KOREA) (71-72-69)*
216 - Sean Ouhyun Yoon, Temecula (74-70-72)*
218 - Scott Clayton, San Bernadino (77-71-70)
220 - Amit Chopra, Newport Coast (73-72-75)
222 - Jake Sarnoff, Manhattan Beach (74-72-76)
230 - Jamie Rose, Vista (80-73-77)
230 - Eugene Lee, Temecula (79-75-76)
231 - Alison Lee, Valencia (77-75-79)
232 - Robbie Douglas, Downey (72-78-82)
* earned spot in the California Open