Korean Kim Bi-o, one of the most exciting young golfers in the game, held his nerve to steal a sudden-death play-off victory at the $1 million Nanshan China Masters on Sunday. The dynamic 20-year-old holed an eight foot birdie to beat New Zealand’s Michael Long on the third extra hole at Nanshan International Golf Club’s Danling Cuiyuan Course. He started the day six behind third round leaders Long and Laycock but bagged eight birdies in a storming six-under-par 66 to finish on a 10-under-par 278. “I was very nervous at the start of the playoff. My heart was beating so fast but I told myself to calm down and relax and enjoy it. If you get too pumped up then you get too nervous and make mistakes,” Kim said.
The par-four 18th was used for the playoff and on their first visit there Kim nearly bowed out when his tee shot found a fairway bunker. He hit his second 20 yards short of the green and made a brilliant up and down by holing a 12 foot par putt. On the second extra hole he missed a 20 foot birdie putt to win but made no mistake the next time.
“It has been a rough year because I have missed a lot of cuts in the States. I have not been happy about it but I know that it is going to be difficult because it is golf at the very highest level,” he added. “I have just got to be patient and the win this week is a massive confidence booster. I am just a rookie and have a lot to learn but I know I love winning golf tournaments.” In 2011 Kim has won $224,536 in 14 events on the US PGA Tour and on his return to OneAsia last month he placed 12th at the SK Telecom Open on home soil.