Soomin Lee claims two-shot win at Shenzhen International
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 25/04/16 8:25am
Soomin Lee earned his breakthrough victory in style as he claimed a two-shot win on the fifth day of the weather-ravaged Shenzhen International in China.
Lee was tied for the lead with Lee Slattery and Alexander Levy with five holes of his final round remaining when play was suspended on Sunday evening following several delays throughout the tournament due to electrical storms and heavy rain.
But when play resumed after another hour's hold-up due to fog early on Monday morning, Lee edged ahead of the pack with a birdie at the 16th, which he followed with a stunning eagle at 17 as his challengers fell away.
After playing partner Levy missed a birdie putt at the 13th on the resumption, Lee safely parred 14 and 15 before rolling in an excellent putt for a two at the par-three 16th.
Slattery ran up a costly bogey at 15 to leave Levy as the closest challenger to Lee, but the Frenchman blocked his drive into the water on the right of the 17th fairway before the young South Korean hit one of the shots of his life.
Lee decided to go for the green in two despite danger lurking short and right, but he made perfect connection with a three-wood and his bravado was rewarded as his ball cleared the hazard and settled 25 feet from the flag.
And with Levy unable to save his par, Lee struck the killer blow as he drained the eagle putt to give himself the luxury of a three-stroke advantage heading up the 72nd hole.
Lee missed the fairway with his pulled drive and sensibly opted to lay up, and he settled for a safe bogey which capped a one-under 71 for a winning score of 16 under par.
It was sweet atonement for the 22-year-old in only his sixth start on the European Tour, coming just two months after he blew a golden chance to win the Maybank Championship Malaysia when he double-bogeyed two of the last three holes and finished two shots behind Marcus Fraser.
Lee's win earns him affiliate membership of the European Tour, and he now moves to 10th place in the Race to Dubai standings for the season.
Joost Luiten and Brandon Stone both completed four-under 68s to earn a share of second place, while Slattery and Levy both limped in with 71s to finish a shot further back alongside Scott Hend, who returned a 66 before play was halted on Sunday.