PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida - South Korea's Yang Yong-eun held on to win the $5,6 million (R58,9million) Honda Classic on Sunday to claim his first USPGA Tour triumph and book a place in the Masters.
Yang two-putted from 15,5 metres for par at the par-five 18th to seal the one-shot victory over American John Rollins.
"This win is the biggest win of my career," said the beaming Korean. "It definitely takes over the HSBC Champions win in 2006."
The HSBC was where Yang triumphed by two strokes over superstar Tiger Woods, one of two Asian victories for Yang that year along with the Korea Open.
That victory earned him an invitation to the 2007 Masters, but after he finally made a longed-for trip to Augusta, his golf deteriorated.
"Up to that point, my dream was to play in the Masters. When I got invited, I had actually realised my dream," he said. "After that, I think my passion for the game went down a little bit. I took things for granted."
With Sunday's victory, Yang joined KJ Choi as the only Koreans to win on the US men's tour. He also secured a Masters berth, a trip to next week's World Golf Championships at Doral, a two-year exemption on the US tour and a winner's prize of about $1 million (R10,5 million).
This win, Yang said, had opened a window on new opportunities. - Sapa-AFP