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 t