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January 17, 2004

Korea's Lee ready to pounce

From: Bangkok Post, Thailand - Jan 17, 2004

Thai star Prom feeling the heat

Chuah Choo Chiang

If Korea's Lee Sung-man wins the Asian PGA Qualifying School Finals today, he will not be able to enjoy any loud cheers and applause.

The Korean has been deaf since birth and went about quietly on his 23rd birthday today to shoot a third round two-under-par 70 which left him one shot behind joint leaders, South African Morne Janse Van Rensburg and American Edward Michaels at Palm Resort Golf and Country Club.

The slender-built Korean has the ability to lip-read and communicates through his father, Kang-kunun. After losing his card on the Nationwide Tour in America where he featured from 2000 to 2003, Lee was encouraged by US PGA Tour winner Choi Kyung-ju to switch his focus to Asia.

''KJ (Choi) asked me to play in Asia as he felt I could do with a new experience,'' said Lee, a winner of 16 amateur events in Korea before turning professional in 1998.

He chipped in for an eagle on the 11th and swapped three birdies against as many bogeys.

''I'm pleased to shoot a 70. I struggled on the greens a bit but I'm in a good position for tomorrow.''

Van Rensburg shot the day's joint best score of 67 to join Michaels atop the leaderboard with one round to play.

The 20-year-old Van Rensburg blitzed the back nine with four birdies and a chip-in eagle and has a three-day total of nine-under-par 207. Joint overnight leader Michaels carded a 71 to remain in position for a Tour card while Japan's Satoshi Shimouchi is tied third with Lee on 208.

The top-40 finishers and ties will earn their playing rights in Asia.

The pressure will certainly be on for players on the qualifying mark and former Thai amateur star Prom Meesawat is already feeling the heat. The 19-year-old Prom carded a 74, his worst round of the week, to slip to tied 35th on 218.

''The feeling is a lot different playing as a pro,'' said the friendly Thai.

''There is some pressure on me as I'm now playing for myself. I didn't hit my irons well and putted poorly. I'm still hopeful of putting in a good score tomorrow to secure my Tour card,'' said Prom.


207 _ Morne Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) 70-70-67, Edward Michaels (US) 68-68-71

208 _ Lee Sung-man (KOR) 70-68-70, Satoshi Shimouchi (JPN) 67-69-72

211 _ Satoshi Tomiyama (JPN) 67-77-67, Shannon Jones (AUS) 69-71-71, Lin Chien-Bing (TWN) 72-67-72, Akinori Tani (JPN) 71-68-72

212 _ Kim Sang-ho (KOR) 71-68-73, Lin Chie-hsiang (TWN) 69-70-73, Alistair Presnell (AUS) 68-70-74

213 _ David Kang (KOR) 72-73-68, Chen Chung-cheng (TWN) 71-69-73, Carito Villaroman (PHI) 71-69-73

214 _ Eiji Mizoguchi (JPN) 71-73-70, Ashok Kumar (IND) 72-72-70, Uttam Singh Mundy (IND) 75-71-68, R. Nachimuthu-(MAS) 74-69-71, Moon Kyung-Don (KOR) 73-70-71, Adam Le Vesconte (AUS) 72-71-71, Bryan Saltus (US) 73-68-73, Vivek Bhandari (IND) 70-67-77

215 _ Zane Scotland (END) 73-71-71, Jim Johnson (US) 74-69-72, Paul Spargo (AUS) 73-69-73

216 _ Yoshinobu Tsukada (Jpn) 71-74-71, Gaurav Ghei (Ind) 74-71-71, Chan Yih-shin (Twn) 78-66-72, Ross Bain Scotland- 76-72-68

217 _ Troy Kennedy (AUS) 74-71-72, Anthony Gilligan (AUS) 73-72-72, Yoshimitsu Fukuzawa (JPN) 73-71-73, David Hearn (CAN) 74-70-73, Ewan Porter- (Aus) 73-70-74

218 _ Satoshi Oide (JPN) 74-71-73, Prom Meesawat (THA) 72-72-74, Seong Si-u (KOR) 74-72-72, Lu Wei-chih (TWN) 77-67-74, Jason Moon (AUS) 70-76-72, Olle Nordberg-Sweden 74-73-71, Barry Austin (Eng) 74-68-76, Robert Jacobson (US) 75-73-70

219 _ Kim Do-hoon (Kor) 72-73-74, Atthaphon Prathummanee (Tha) 73-72-74, Jonathan Cheetham (Eng) 74-71-74, Terry Pilkadaris (Aus) 74-70-75, Kenichi Ryu (Jpn) 72-72-75, Angelo Que (Phi) 71-73-75, Ari Savolainen (Fin) 75-71-73, Adam Groom (Aus)- 72-71-76, Anthony Summers (Aus) 71-71-77, Jeon Sang-woo (Kor) 73-75-71, Kim Byung-kwan (Kor) 76-72-71

© Copyright The Post Publishing Public Co., Ltd. 2004