Kwon Earns First Win on PGA TOUR Series-China
NORMAN -- Luke Kwon overcame a double bogey on hole No. 16 then closed with back-to-back birdies, which was enough to hold off Canada’s Myles Creighton and secure a one-stroke victory at the Qinhuangdao Championship on Sunday.
Playing in the penultimate group, the 26-year-old Kwon, who moved to fourth on the Order of Merit, started the day four shots off the lead but quickly found himself among the leaders after going 8-under through his 13 holes at Qinhuangdao Poly Golf Club. From there it was neck and neck until the end.
After a bogey on hole 14, Kwon still held a one-shot lead before the double bogey on 16 dropped him one shot behind Creighton. With two holes left to play, Kwon drained a 30-footer for birdie on the 17th before sinking another birdie putt from seven feet on the final hole. Meanwhile, Creighton was finishing with five straight pars.
“I really needed that birdie on 17. It was huge. I was feeling a bit down and was looking at a long putt from around 30 feet, and it went in,” said Kwon. “My putting had been good all week, and thankfully it saved me again today, and I made some clutch putts at the end.”
It makes sense that Kwon is playing in China, seeing that he has no trouble fitting in in any part of the world. Kwon was born in Seoul, South Korea, and currently resides in Auckland, New Zealand, where he also lived from the age of 2-8. He then moved to Dallas, Texas before deciding to play golf at the University of Oklahoma, where he played alongside current Tour player Max McGreevy and Charlie Saxon, the Tour’s all-time leader in money earned.
Kwon made his PGA TOUR Series-China debut late in 2018, at the Macau Championship, and is now a Tour winner in just his eighth event, only three wins behind Saxon’s four career titles.
“I’m really excited and happy to be off the golf course. I was feeling the nerves coming down the stretch, but I couldn’t be happier with the finish and this win really means a lot to me,” said Kwon, who was modest when being compared to Saxon. “That’s a tall task, but I wouldn’t mind copying him. He’s a good friend, and we played together a lot in college and he’s done really well out here so hopefully I can catch him one day.”
Story provided by the PGA TOUR-China Series