Canada’s Justin Shin Flawless In Cruising To PGA Tour China Victory
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2019-10-14
VIA PRESS RELEASE
MACAU, China — Canada’s Justin Shin won his second career PGA TOUR Series-China title in wire-to-wire fashion and leaped 56 spots on the Order of Merit into 11th after banking the RMB 378,000 winner’s check at the season-ending Macau Championship. Shin is the 14th multiple-tournament winner in Series history. In 2015, the Seoul, South Korea, native via Maple Ridge, British Columbia, won the United Investments Real Estate Wuhan Open.
He is one of four Canadians to win on this Tour, joining Eugene Wong, Peter Campbell and Richard Jung, also a two-time winner.
Starting the day six strokes clear of China’s Zecheng Dou after opening rounds of 63-62-66, Shin continued his flawless play to card a 3-under 68 Sunday. He finished at 25-under, good for a five-stroke victory at Caesars Golf Macau. Dou, who won the 2016 Order of Merit and is a member of the Korn Ferry Tour, came to within three strokes of Shin after 12 holes but failed to close the large gap despite shooting a 65 to take solo second.
American Max McGreevy tied for 41st, which was still more than enough to secure Player of the Year Honors over compatriot Trevor Sluman, who missed the cut this week. McGreevy, who had nine top-10s and a victory this season, will have full playing rights for the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour season. American David Kocher finished third on the money list, while France’s Cyril Bouniol and South Korea’s Luke Kwon finished fourth and fifth to also secure Korn Ferry Tour membership.
Jung shot a 67 to secure third place, at 19-under, two shots ahead of Bouniol. Kwon tied for fifth, at 16-under, along with Thailand’s Suteepat Prateeptienchai, American Shotaro Ban and Australia’s Aaron Wilkin. Jung finished sixth on the Order of Merit, a performance that will allow him to skip the second stage of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament and advance to the final stage, set for mid-December outside Orlando, Fla.
Meanwhile, Shin was flawless all week, carding 24 birdies and two eagles against only three bogeys. He improved to No. 11 on the Order of Merit, just missing the top 10. He will be fully exempt on the 2020 PGA TOUR Series-China
“I just really wanted to have a second win here in China. My last one was in 2015, and I wanted to win so badly right away but it didn’t happen until now,” said Shin. “So, I’m just really glad I did, and I hope to get more wins out there now.”
Shin, who played a full season on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2017, had been struggling with his game in China. He came into this week ranked 67th on the Order of Merit and in danger of losing his Tour card for next season. However, a putter change last month followed by two good results on the Korean Tour obviously helped Shin regain his confidence.
That showed all week and again Sunday as he stayed calm and recorded three birdies in a bogey-free round despite feeling pressure from playing partner Dou.
“I knew I needed to keep playing aggressive because I knew Dou could make a lot of birdies, and he did. On the first nine he was 3-under, and he was catching,” said Shin. “I was struggling to make birdies and felt a lot of pressure because I knew that Dou could do a lot of crazy things. Luckily, I made a nice long putt on 12, which helped me make it through.”
At the start of the round, Dou knew that he would need Shin to fall back if he wished to close the large gap. For the 2016 PGA TOUR Series-China Player of the Year, who is back in Asia to prepare for the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions, that didn’t happen. However, Dou was more than happy with his second-place finish, which will give him plenty of confidence heading to Shanghai and Sheshan International for the first WGC tournament of the season.
“It was a really great week. I knew it was going to be really difficult to catch Shin, and he played really well again today,” said Dou. “I’m just really happy with how I played, and I love being back in China. It feels good to play at home, and now I’m just going to keep practicing to get ready for the WGC-HSBC Champions.”
- Did you know that it has been 4 years, 4 months, 22 days, or 1,605 days total, between Justin Shin’s first PGA TOUR Series-China win and his victory this week at the Macau Championship? It is the longest span between victories in Series history.
- In 2015, Justin Shin finished sixth on the PGA TOUR Series-China Order of Merit. He has also played one partial (2014) and one full season (2017) on the Korn Ferry Tour, where his best finish was a tie for 21st at the Stonebrae Classic in Hayward, Calif., in 2014.
- Prior to this week, Zecheng Dou’s last PGA TOUR Series-China appearance came in 2016, a tie for 27th at the Buick Open in Guangzhou — a span of 1,050 days.
- Max McGreevy ended the season with 217 birdies, best on PGA TOUR Series-China in 2019.
- Shotaro Ban really helped himself Sunday. Starting the week outside the top 50 on the Order of Merit, a threshold that gives 2020 PGA TOUR Series-China exempt status, all the American did was shoot rounds of 65-71-66-66 to tie for fifth, with Suteepat Prateeptienchai, Luke Kwon and Aaron Wilkin. Ban finished the season 48th on the Order of Merit.
- The Philippines’ Lloyd Jefferson Go was the last player in the Order of Merit top 50, and at No. 50 he will be totally exempt on PGA TOUR Series-China’s 2020 season. Australia’s Bryden Macpherson was the hard-luck player following Sunday’s final round. The 2015 PGA TOUR Series-China Player of the Year tied for 25th at the Macau Championship and finished the season 51st in earnings.
- Thailand’s Suteepat Prateeptienchai played in only eight PGA TOUR Series-China tournaments this year, but he made the most of his opportunities. He tied for fifth Sunday, his third top-10 of the season. Prateeptienchai finished 25th on the Order of Merit.
- Luke Kwon was bogey-free in his final round, shooting a 5-under 66. He didn’t make a bogey after the fourth hole of his third round, playing his final 32 holes without a blemish on his scorecard.
- Besides winner Justin Shin, three other Canadians made the cut this week at Caesars Golf Macau. Richard Jung finished third, while Stuart Macdonald and Myles Creighton tied for 14th. All four players kept their playing privileges for 2020. Shin finished 11th on the Order of Merit, while Jung ended in the sixth position, with Creighton 17th and Macdonald 32nd.
- Benjamin Lein knew he needed a good final round to finish inside the top 50 and keep his Tour card for 2020. He delivered, shooting a 65 to tie for 12th in Macau to jump into the 47th position.
- Australian Aaron Wilkin had the best finish from players from Australia this week. He tied for fifth and retained his 2020 card after moving into 37th on the Order of Merit.
- Zhengkai Bai gave a good go to try and break into the top five on the Order of Merit. Bai tied for ninth, which wasn’t enough to move up from No. 6 as Luke Kwon and Cyril Bouniol both finished in front of him.
“The putter switch was huge for me. I’ve been putting with a putter I used for four years, and I’m glad I changed that. It didn’t work out the whole year, and I just changed it like a month ago and since then I’ve played really well.” –Justin Shin
“I’m really happy. Third place is always a good finish. Obviously, my initial goal was to win, but Justin just played solid, solid golf all week. I played with him the last two days. [Saturday] on hole 2, when the pin was tucked left, he went for it and I knew it was going to be his week.” – Richard Jung
“I’ve known Justin since I was 11. To me, he is like my older brother. We are only a year apart but since I’ve known him since I was a kid, it just feels like we’re family and we were cheering for each other the whole week. It doesn’t matter where we are or which Tour we are playing, I know that he’s always pulling for me, and I’ll do the same for him as well.” – Richard Jung
“I’m really happy I showed up to play this way, and I played beautifully. I only made two bogeys all week. I was pretty much in control, and even today I made a lot of really good putts and managed to finish well.” – Cyril Bouniol
“I’m super happy with the season. It was really consistent. Unfortunately, I didn’t win as much as I thought I could have this year, but I can’t really put it into words how good I played this year. I just made birdies when I needed to and limited the mistakes all year long. Luckily, I was able to finish up on the leaderboard nearly almost every week.” – Max McGreevy
Tournament Fast Fact
This is the second PGA TOUR Series-China tournament held in Macau and only the fourth official PGA TOUR Series-China event staged outside Mainland China. The 2016 and 2018 Clearwater Bay Opens in Hong Kong are the others.