2009 RUNNER-UP CHUN EARNS PLACE AT THE OPEN AS CHAMPION HAN GEARS UP FOR THE MASTERS

Asian Amateur Championship

For Immediate Publication

2009 RUNNER-UP CHUN EARNS PLACE AT THE OPEN AS CHAMPION HAN GEARS UP FOR THE MASTERS

11 March 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: South Korean Eric Chun today ensured his place at the 150th Anniversary Open Championship, taking full advantage of the chance to enter International Final Qualifying – Asia that he earned by finishing runner up at the inaugural Asian Amateur Championship. With a birdie from six feet at the last, Chun took the last of the four Open qualification spots available at Saujana Golf and Country Club, Malaysia, on a total of six under par.

“I have never been so nervous in my life and I’m just happy it worked out well,” said the Northwestern University sophomore, who turned 20 on Monday. “I was really patient today and that was the key for me. Every putt I had out here these two days were as important as my last putt. All these other good putts led me to this opportunity.

“I haven’t played at St Andrews before or been anywhere near there! So I’m looking forward to it. I’ve only seen it on television and heard about it so to play there is amazing.”

Speaking earlier in the week, Chun said: “It [The Asian Amateur Championship] was one of the best tournaments I have played in my life. It was really well set up and the sponsors were huge sponsors. The field was good, the course was good and the treatment was great. I felt like it was almost a professional tournament, but with an amateur field. It was a lot of fun playing it. I am glad I did, and I am glad I played well.”

Chun’s success means that both the winner and runner-up at the inaugural Asian Amateur Championship will be playing Major Championship golf in 2010. Chun will take to the Old Course at St Andrews in July, while his fellow South Korean, 2009 Champion Han Chang-won, will compete at Augusta National in April’s Masters Tournament.

"We are delighted to see Eric Chun qualify for The Open Championship,” said Dominic Wall, Tournament Director of the Asian Amateur Championship.

“When the three partner organisations [the APGC, the Masters Tournament and The R&A] formed the Asian Amateur Championship, the objectives were to showcase the best Amateur talent from Asia, to provide a golf development initiative for the region and, through The Open Championship and the Masters Tournament, provide the opportunity for that talent to perform in Major Championships.

"Han Chang-won, who also performed very well at International Final Qualifying for The Open over the last two days, will go to Augusta next month to play in his first Major Championship. And following his stellar performance today we look forward to seeing Eric Chun in the field for the 150th Anniversary Open Championship. I'm sure both players will perform well and continue to vindicate the decision to establish the Asian Amateur Championship."

Han will now begin his preparation for Augusta National and will be aiming to take full advantage of the invitation he received courtesy of his impressive victory on Mission Hills’ World Cup Course in China, last November. “I am very excited to have the chance to play in the Masters and I really enjoyed the Asian Amateur and testing myself against the best amateurs in Asia Pacific,” said the 18-year-old.

“As the defending champion [of the Asian Amateur], I of course want to win the title again. If not me, I hope maybe another Korean player can win the title.”

The 2010 Masters Tournament takes place on 8 – 11 April at Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia, USA.

The 2010 Open Championship takes place on 15 – 18 July on the Old Course in St Andrews, Scotland.

The 2010 Asian Amateur Championship will be held on the West Course at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Japan on 7 – 10 October.

ENDS

Note to Editors

The R&A
Based in St Andrews, The R&A is golf's governing body and organiser of The Open Championship. The R&A is committed to working for golf and operates with the consent of 138 organisations from the amateur and professional game and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in 124 countries.

Further information:

Dominic Wall
Director – Asia/Pacific

Malcolm Booth
Assistant Director – Head of Communications

The R&A
Tel: +44 1334 460000