Baek Seok-hyeon (32), nicknamed 100% (Pro), won the Korea Professional Golf (KPGA) Korean Tour SK Telecom Open at the Pinx GC (par 71) in Seogwipo, Jeju on the 21st. With a final round of 2 under par 69 strokes, a total of 13 under par, he beat Lee Tae-hoon by one stroke and recorded a wire-to-wire victory. It is the first division tour victory won in 15 years after becoming a pro at the age of 17.
The road to victory was not easy. Baek Seok-hyun, born in Incheon in 1990, immigrated to Thailand when he was in middle school. He turned professional in 2008. He won the small tour of Thailand and in 2013 was ranked 9th on the Asian Tour money list. At the 2014 Indonesian Masters, he competed for the championship with former world No. 1 Cameron Smith and Anirvan Lahiri and came in 2nd place.
But after that he fell into a slump. Just prior to his public service duty, his weight had risen to 140 kg. Baek Seok-hyun is said to have lost 62 kg during his public service service in 2019. He has grown a bit now. Baek Seok-hyun said, “It’s a style to relieve stress by eating during the season, so it’s a bit steamy. He hasn’t weighed himself in the past three months, but the last time he weighed it was 95kg,” he said.
He moved the stage to the Korean tour from 2021 due to Corona 19, etc., but did not perform very well. He is unknown to many golf fans. Baek Seok-hyun said, “I am so happy that I cannot express it in words. I am grateful to his parents, mother-in-law and father-in-law, and to his wife. He will be a great husband,” she said with tears in her eyes.
Baek Seok-hyeon led by two strokes until the 16th hole, but his body strengthened ahead of his first win. He bogeyed his tee shot into the deep rough while topping out on the 17th hole. Chaser Lee Tae-hoon also bogeyed and maintained a two-stroke lead.
Baek Seok-hyeon’s tee shot on the last hole flew to the right and fell into the water. Baek Seok-hyeon said, “It was a windy situation, so I thought I would be able to go comfortably if I hit the 3-wood and the middle iron for the second shot, but I didn’t want to back down, so I made a mistake hitting the driver.”
He received a penalty and his third shot went over the green and landed in a bunker. He also had a formidable downhill bunker shot. However, Baek Seok-hyun confirmed the championship by putting a bunker shot 50cm next to the pin. Baek Seok-hyun said, “The bunker shot was the best in my life. Even if you ask me to hit it again, I will never hit it like that.”
Baek Seok-hyun made a ‘no look putt’ in this tournament, putt by looking at the hole, not the ball. Even former world No. 1 Jordan Spieth sometimes looks at the hole, not the golf ball, to putt. Sergio Garcia (Spain) won the 2020 PGA Tour Sanderson Farms Championship by putting with his eyes closed.
Baek Seok-hyun said, “After returning to Korea, I suffered from putt anxiety. He brought a long putter before this tournament, but he was told that it did not fit the rules, so he had no choice but to use a regular putter. Then he made up his mind to putt without looking at the ball as a prescription for a poison.”
Great. On the first day, he hit 9 under par and took the lead alone. On the final day of increased stress, he looked and didn’t look at the ball and went back and forth.
Baek Seok-hyeon said, “I made a par save with a no-look putt on holes 1 through 3, and I was able to find stability by making an eagle on hole 4.” However, he says he saw the ball when he was too nervous or when it was a downhill putt.
It didn’t go well when that happened. He said, “I had to hit 7-8 under par today, but I couldn’t putt, so I ended up with 2 under par.” The final putt, where the tension reached its peak, was a no-look putt. “My hands were shaking and I couldn’t see anything. I only looked at my hand and putt, but it went in.”
Baek Seok-hyun received 260 million won in prize money for winning this tournament and secured a Korean Tour seed until 2027.스포츠토토
Last year’s winner Kim Bio tied for third at 10 under par. Choi Ho-seong, who started with a joint lead, lost 4 strokes and was pushed back to 7-under par for 11th place. Choi Gyeong-ju, the co-executive chairman of the tournament, ended the tournament with a 5-under par for 19th place. This competition drew attention for relaying using AI.