Noh claims emotional win at Zurich Classic

South Korean Seung Yul-Noh won his first PGA Tour title at the Zurich Classic last Sunday with a two stroke victory over Americans Andrew Svoboda and Robert Streb.

Noh fired rounds of 65-68-65-71 to finish at 17-under-par for the tournament.

Seung Yul-Noh Seung Yul-Noh (Credit: Nike Golf)

Noh, a three-time Asian Tour winner, became the fifth player from South Korea to win on the PGA Tour, joining fellow countrymen K.J. Choi, Y.E. Yang, Kevin Na and Sang-Moon Bae.

After turing professional in 2007, Noh finished 37th in FedEx Cup points in his rookie year in 2012, but until Sunday’s victory in New Orleans has struggled on the PGA Tour and played predominantly on the secondary Tour during 2013.

Noh picked up a win at the Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and finished fourth on the money list to earn his PGA Tour card for 2014.

Now with his win in New Orleans, Noh earns a two-year exemption, a spot in the Players and PGA Championship, as well as a place at the 2015 Masters.

“This is a dream come true. I dreamed of always playing PGA TOUR‑‑ or playing with like‑‑ the top 10 players or playing any major, especially the Masters. But dream come true today, and I’m very excited to play in the Masters,” said Noh.

“There are a lot of young winners on the PGA Tour, like Rory, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, all the younger guys winning two times, so I will try and keep working hard to catch up with those guys.”

However it was also a moving victory for the quietly-spoken South Korean and remembering the victims of a ferry that capsized and sank earlier this month and with a very good many still unaccounted.

Jeju Island was the venue for three years from 2008-2010 of the Ballantine’s Championship and Noh competed in both 2009 and 2010.

“What happened back home is very tragic and we are all thinking of those who have been affected, and it is why we have been wearing special ribbons this week to show that we care,” said Noh.

“I have played on Jeju Island many times and I know the location where the ferry sank so that makes it the more emotional and sad.

“I just hope my victory in some small way brings a smile to the face of my people back home.”

Stuart Appleby was the best of the Australians finishing at 10-under-par for a share of 17th position, seven strokes from Noh.

Bronson La’Cassie finished in a tie for 21st position a stroke behind Appleby at 9-under-par, with Robert Allenby at 8-under-par to finish in a tie for 25th.