OneAsia graduate John Huh claimed his first title on the US PGA Tour with a dramatic play-off victory over Robert Allenby in the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Huh played five events on OneAsia in 2011, finishing 15th on the Order of Merit with winnings of US$85,945, before winning his PGA Tour card at final qualifying.
The 21-year-old Korean-American shot a final round 63 over the El Camaleon course in Riviera Maya, Mexico to draw level with Allenby on 13-under-par 271 after the Australian double bogeyed the final hole.
Huh parred the eighth hole of the marathon playoff to edge Allenby, a winner on OneAsia at the 2009 Australian PGA Championship.
“It’s amazing,” said Huh. “It’s my rookie year, especially, and playing in my fifth event on the PGA TOUR. I just couldn’t put it in words … it’s really hard to explain this. It’s major. I mean, it was my dream.”
Two-time OneAsia champion Bae Sang-moon of Korea also announced himself on the international stage last week by reaching the quarter-finals of the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship at Dove Mountain, Arizona.
Bae, who won OneAsia’s Kolon-Hana Bank Korea Open in 2009 and the SK Telecom Open the following year, took the notable scalps of Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter, Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and Australia’s John Senden before losing to world number two Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland in the last eight.
Like Huh, world number 44 Bae gained his PGA Tour card at final qualifying last December after topping the Japan Tour Order of Merit.
In Australia, OneAsia regular Andrew Tschudin put years of heartache behind him with victory in the Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship.
He shot a final round of six-under-par 64 to claim his first win after 14 years on the PGA Tour of Australasia. He triumphed by a stroke over Andrew Martin and Brody Ninyette after the tournament at City Golf Club, Toowoonba, was reduced to 54 holes because of bad weather.
Tschudin finished a lowly 59th on the OneAsia Order of Merit in 2011 and he said the victory would give him confidence for the season ahead.
“It isn’t just about the A$17,250 it is also about proving to myself that I could get the job done down the stretch and therefore if I get in a similar position in a OneAsia event, I can be confident that I can produce the same result,” he said.
The 2012 OneAsia season tees off with the US$1 million Enjoy Jakarta Indonesia Open at the Emeralda Golf and Country Club from March 22 to 25.
The tournament will be jointly sanctioned with the Japan Golf Tour Organisation for the first time as part of an historic three-year relationship.
Defending champion Thaworn Wiratchant from Thailand, OneAsia Order of Merit champion Andre Stolz of Australian, Japanese star Shingo Katayama and Indonesia number one Rory Hie — who finished joint runner-up last year — have all confirmed their participation.
There will be a minimum of 14 events on OneAsia this season boasting overall prize money of US$16 million.