Garcia Captures Korean Title


SEOUL, South Korea -- Sergio Garcia posted a tournament-record total of 23-under-par 265 to win the Kolon Cup Korean Open Sunday at the Seoul Hanyang Country Club. The 22-year-old Spaniard closed with a 5-under 67 to finish three strokes ahead of Korea's Kang Wook-soon.
The victory was Garcia's third worldwide in 2002. He won the season-opening Mercedes Championships in January for his third career win on the PGA Tour. In late April he captured his fourth European Tour title -- and first in his native Spain -- at the Open de Espaa.
Garcia, the world's fifth-ranked player, collected the US$81,900 first prize from the US$350,000 purse. It was his first triumph in Asia.
Garcia opened with rounds of 67-65 and took a one shot lead over Kang (66-67) into the weekend. Garcia maintained his slim advantage when both he and Kang carded 66s in Saturday's third round.
Kang pulled into a share of the lead early on Sunday after Garcia bogeyed the third hole, but Garcia soon moved two ahead on the strength of birdies at the fourth, sixth and eighth holes. Though Kang also picked up strokes at the sixth and eighth, he dropped his first shot of the day at No. 7.
Kang drew within one with a birdie at the 10th only to slip three back after a two-shot swing at the 11th, where Garcia managed a birdie and Kang suffered a bogey. The local favorite tallied a birdie at the 16th but Garcia restored the three-stroke margin with a birdie at 18.
Kang, who has won a record seven times on the Davidoff (Asian PGA) Tour, shot a final-round 69 and earned US$40,950 for his runner-up finish.
Korean veterans Choi Gwang-soo, Park Nam-sin and Kim Jong-duk finished 10 strokes off the pace in a tie for third place at 13-under 275.
Choi Kyung-ju, better known to U.S. golf fans as K.J. Choi, shared sixth place with fellow Korean Jun Tae-hyun and Japan's Sushi Ishigaki at minus-11. Choi became the first Korean to title on the PGA Tour when he posted a four-shot victory at the Compaq Classic of New Orleans in early May.
Adam Scott of Australia was part of tie for 14th at 7-under 281, while India's Arjun Atwal, who currently leads the Davidoff Tour's Order of Merit, finished in a share of 49th place at 1-over par.