KOREANS NOH AND CHUN EARN MAJOR DEBUTS AT IFQ - ASIA, FUJITA AND CHIA ALSO QUALIFY

Celebrating 150 years

For Immediate Publication

KOREANS NOH AND CHUN EARN MAJOR DEBUTS AT IFQ - ASIA, FUJITA AND CHIA ALSO QUALIFY

11 March 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: South Korea’s Noh Seung-yul completed a sensational run in Malaysia by qualifying for the 150th Anniversary Open Championship at International Final Qualifying – Asia on Thursday. Noh qualified alongside Malaysia’s Danny Chia, and Japan's Hiroyuki Fujita, while amateur Eric Chun, also of South Korea, took the fourth and final place in July’s Open Championship, having earned his IFQ appearance with a runner-up finish at the inaugural Asian Amateur Championship, last November.

Noh, winner of last week’s Maybank Malaysian Open, claimed one of the four spots available in golf’s oldest Major after closing with a four-under-par 68. Fujita finished at the head of the field when he signed off with a 66 for a two-day total of 11-under-par 133 at Saujana Golf and Country Club.

Chia shot a 68 to finish tied second alongside Noh on 134, securing a third appearance in The Open. Chun made a dramatic birdie at the 18th hole to join the trio at St Andrews in July.

“I’m really happy but honestly it hasn’t settled in yet. It has been a great two weeks for me but I’m not going to let it get to my head,” said 18-year-old Noh, who finished strongly with two birdies.

Barring a bogey on the 16th hole, he was delighted with his round and is now relishing the opportunity to play in his first Major.

“I’m more experienced now after last week and that has certainly carried over to this week. I treat every tournament the same and I’m looking forward to playing against the world’s best,” added the South Korean.

Chun, who was on five-under alongside three other players going into the final hole, held his nerve to sink a birdie putt from six feet to claim the last place on offer.

“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.”

Chia got off to a bright start with an eagle-two on the fourth hole, after his drive finished 15 feet from the pin. His two previous Open appearances came at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and in 2005 at St Andrews.

“The thrill of returning to The Open started with three more holes to go. I always want to show my fans that I’m not going to crack at the pressure point and kept telling myself to keep calm and focus,” said the 37-year-old, who has won once on the Asian Tour.

“A lot of things were going through my mind yesterday. I found it hard to sleep! I always try to prove myself in front of the home crowd that Malaysian professionals can make it into the next level in golf and I did that today,” he added.

Fujita, the highest ranked player in the field at 80th in the world, was delighted to top the qualifier after a flawless round punctuated by six birdies.

“My ball striking wasn’t really good but my putting helped a lot this week. There was a lot of good players here and I didn’t expect to win so I’m glad to be able to win it and of course to play in a Major again,” said the two-time Asian Tour winner, who played all four rounds at St Andrews when The Open was last held there in 2005.

The Open will celebrate its 150th anniversary at the Old Course, St Andrews, from July 15 - 18 this year.  

Pos

Player

Country

R1

R2

Total

To par

Status

1

FUJITA, Hiroyuki

Japan

67

66

133

-11

Qualified

T2

CHIA, Danny

Malaysia

66

68

134

-10

Qualified

T2

NOH, Seung-Yul

South Korea

66

68

134

-10

Qualified

4

CHUN, Eric (A)

South Korea

67

71

138

-6

Qualified

T5

DODT, Andrew

Australia

74

65

139

-5

 

T5

HORNE, Keith

South Africa

73

66

139

-5

 

T5

DAE-HYUN, Kim

South Korea

73

66

139

-5

 

T8

VAN DER VALK, Guido

Netherlands

71

69

140

-4

 

T8

TANIHARA, Hideto

Japan

72

68

140

-4

 

T10

HAN, Chang Won (A)

South Korea

73

68

141

-3

 

T10

HIRATSUKA, Tetsuji

Japan

73

68

141

-3

 

T12

GLEESON, David

Australia

74

68

142

-2

 

T12

WIRATCHANT, Thaworn

Thailand

69

73

142

-2

 

T12

LAM, Chih Bing

Singapore

73

69

142

-2

 

T15

MUTHIAH, Sasidaran

Malaysia

72

71

143

-1

 

T15

TUNNICLIFF, Miles

England

71

72

143

-1

 

T17

TSUKADA, Yoshinobu

Japan

72

72

144

Par

 

T17

ZAHARI, Airil

Malaysia

73

71

144

Par

 

T17

LEE, Sung Man

South Korea

70

74

144

Par

 

T17

PUCAY, Mars

Philippines

72

72

144

Par

 

T21

OH, Theodore

USA

73

72

145

+1

 

T21

KIM, Young Jin

South Korea

72

73

145

+1

 

T21

MARUYAMA, Daisuke

Japan

73

72

145

+1

 

T24

KONDO, Tomohiro

Japan

72

74

146

+2

 

T24

MATSUMURA, Michio

Japan

77

69

146

+2

 

T24

LAHIRI, Anirban

India

76

70

146

+2

 

T24

BECK, Darren

Australia

75

71

146

+2

 

T24

KNUTZON, Jason

USA

74

72

146

+2

 

T24

ICHIHARA, Kodai

Japan

72

74

146

+2

 

T30

GANGJEE, Rahil

India

70

77

147

+3

 

T30

PHADUNGSIL, Chinnarat

Thailand

73

74

147

+3

 

T30

WU, A Shun

China

69

78

147

+3

 

T30

SUPUPRAMAI, Sattaya

Thailand

76

71

147

+3

 

T30

BLYTH, Adam

Australia

74

73

147

+3

 

T30

BOTH, Marcus

Australia

72

75

147

+3

 

T30

SIVACHANDRAN, Supramanium

Malaysia

78

69

147

+3

 

T30

TOMIDA, Masaya

Japan

73

74

147

+3

 

38

KARLBERG, Rikard

Sweden

79

69

148

+4

 

39

SJOHOLM, Joel

Sweden

75

75

150

+6

 

T40

BHULLAR, Gaganjeet

India

73

78

151

+7

 

T40

STEEL, Iain

Malaysia

75

76

151

+7

 

T42

HUSSEIN, Shaaban

Malaysia

78

74

152

+8

 

T42

TAKAYAMA, Tadahiro

Japan

76

76

152

+8

 

T44

YANO, Azuma

Japan

80

73

153

+9

 

T44

HARRIS, Corey

USA

78

75

153

+9

 

T44

NOGAMI, Takao

Japan

76

77

153

+9

 

T47

KARJALAINEN, Toni

Finland

77

77

154

+10

 

T47

SANG-MOON, Bae

South Korea

77

77

154

+10

 

T47

TAKEMOTO, Naoya

Japan

77

77

154

+10

 

T50

REDFERN, Nicholas

England

81

74

155

+11

 

T50

FLINT, Gavin

Australia

78

77

155

+11

 

52

ISHIGAKI, Sushi

Japan

82

76

158

+14

 

T53

MUNIYAPPA, Chinnaswamy

India

84

75

159

+15

 

T53

KANG, Anthony

USA

83

76

159

+15

 

ENDS

Note to Editors

IFQ
International Final Qualifying (IFQ) events for The Open Championship were introduced in 2004 and are held on five continents to give more players from around the world the chance to gain direct entry into golf's oldest championship.

IFQ for the 2010 Open Championship at St Andrews:

IFQ - Australasia: Kingston Heath, Melbourne, Australia, 14 & 15 January
IFQ - Africa: Royal Johannesburg & Kensington, South Africa, 20 & 21 January
IFQ - Asia: Saujana Golf and Country Club, Malaysia, 10 & 11 March
IFQ - America: Gleneagles, Plano, Texas, USA, 24 May
IFQ - Europe: Sunningdale, Berkshire, England, 7 June

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:

Rhodri Price
Assistant Director – Championships

Malcolm Booth
Assistant Director - Head of Communications
The R&A
Tel: +44 1334 460000