Korea’s Jin Jeong has become the new World Amateur Golf Ranking Number One thanks to his victory at the 2010 Amateur Championship. He became the first Asian winner of the event in its 125-year history after defeating James Byrne of Scotland 5&4 - this weeks WAGRank 12 - in today’s 36-hole final at Muirfield, East Lothian.
He is the second Korean-born amateur number one, the first being New Zealand’s Danny Lee, who occupied the top spot for 35 weeks in 2008 and 2009.
Jeong, 20, produced a superb display of putting to take the title with at birdie at the 32nd hole, his tenth of the day. The reigning Riversdale Cup Champion reached the half-way stage two holes ahead of Byrne, the 21-year-old Scot having let an early two-hole advantage of his own slip away.
“I’ve never putted better than that,” said Jeong following the trophy presentation. “I was quite nervous all week, especially before today. But I came here this week really wanting to win. I wanted this title so badly.”
Courtesy of his victory, Jeong, who plays his golf in Australia representing Waverley Golf Club, earns an exemption into the 150th Anniversary Open Championship and an invitation to the 2011 Masters Tournament.
“I hoped that I was going to win the Amateur and come back for The Open because I’ve been watching The Open on TV every year since Ernie Els won at Muirfield in 2002. That was the first time I’d ever watched it,” he said. “I really wanted to know what it was like to play out of knee-high rough!”
“I always hoped that my first Major would be The Open. Now I can play at St Andrews. It means everything. It’s a dream come true.”
Elsewhere, England international and 2010 Welsh Open Stroke Play Champion Eddie Pepperell won the Berkshire Trophy. The 2009 Boys Amateur Championship runner up, 19, shot four under par rounds over the Red and Blue courses at The Berkshire Golf Club to finish two shots clear of second-placed Alex Christie and five ahead of the rest of the field. Thanks to this latest triumph, Drayton Park’s Pepperell makes an 22-place leap to WAGRank 145.
Back in Scotland, Colville Park’s Ross Kellett lifted the Tennant Cup at Glasgow Golf Club. Having led by three at the half-way stage, he cruised to a two-under-par, four-round total of 280 to win by four shots from Ranfurly Castle’s Sam Binning. Consequently, Kellett moves 16 places up the Ranking to 65th.
Korea’s Jin Jeong is the new World Amateur Golf Ranking Number One.