Heinhoe ‘contemplating dinner menu in parking lot’… dramatic win in overtime

Heo In-ho, 36, won the Bizplay-Wonder Club Open on the Korean Professional Golf Association (KPGA) Tour with a dramatic come-from-behind victory to improve his career win total to six. He won the tournament, which had a total prize purse of 700 million won, in a second overtime playoff.

After parring the 18th (par-5) hole in the fourth round on Tuesday, Heo told himself, “Second place is good enough.” At the time, he was in sole possession of second place, one stroke behind Jang Yubin going into the 15th hole.

He watched the rest of the match from his car with little hope, and was even more disheartened when he saw Jang Yubin maintain her one-stroke advantage on the 17th (par-4). As he waited for the match to end, he contemplated his dinner menu.

However, Jang missed a 47.5-centimeter par putt on the 18th hole, sending the match into overtime and forcing He In-ho to return to Burinake Field. He then pulled off a dramatic come-from-behind victory in the second overtime. He was tied for ninth place after the third round, five strokes behind Jang Yubin.

“I thought if I birdied the 18th hole, I could go to extra play or win the championship, but I parred,” He said after the awards ceremony. “I was halfway off the course when I saw the score in my car after I packed up to go home.”

“I was already feeling good with a solo second place, but when (Jang) made par on the 17th hole, I was looking for something to eat for dinner, and then I got a call from the association and came from the Burinake parking lot,” Heo said.

As for his choice of driver for his second shot in the first overtime on the 18th hole, he laughed and said it was a “performance”. “It’s a mini driver with a small head, and I thought it would be more like me to hit a wood and be aggressive, so I thought it was a fun performance, so I’m happy with it,” he said. Of course, the decision didn’t stop with the performance, as it led to a birdie and set up the second overtime win.

“I think it was good that I focused on this year’s tournament as if it was my first and last, because I had a bad start to the season and then started to pick up in the second half,” Heo said. “My goal is to be in the top 20 or 30 at every tournament.”

“The end goal is to get a permanent seed, and I need 20 wins (to do that), so I have a long way to go. The next goal is to go to the Senior Tour and win.” Heo now has six career wins.

He credited his wife, Yuk Eun-chae, who was his caddie at the time, for his GS Caltex Mae Kyung Open victory in May 2021, and after his fifth victory at the iMBank 19사이트 Open in September last year, he hailed his son as his “belly”. He said, “Eun-chae, you’ve done a lot of hard work,” before telling his son, “This is the second time I’ve won since I gave birth to you. I’m your dad, so you should grow up healthy and well. I love you.”

This time, she also addressed her father, saying, “Thanks to you, I trained hard and became a great player. I will do my best in the future, so please watch me.”

Heo In-ho, meanwhile, said, “I really wanted to say this,” and noted that the difficulty of KPGA Tour events has decreased in recent years. “I think the average difficulty was harder 10 years ago,” he said, “and I’ve gotten the feeling that (the course) has been pulled back a lot in recent years.” “I don’t know what the reason is, but I think it’s because they’re shortening the course to make it easier. “There’s not a single hole I’ve ever played where I hit a driver on the third hole and didn’t make a two-on,” he said, adding, “I wish they would have raised the level of the Korean men’s pros (when designing the tournament course).”

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