March 11, 2010
International Final Qualifying -- Asia Results
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Northwestern sophomore Eric Chun (Ansung City, South Korea/International Christian School) made a six-foot birdie putt on the final hole of Thursday's International Final Qualifying -- Asia to earn a berth in the 150th playing of the Open Championship this July 15-18 at St. Andrews.
After entering the final round of the 36-hole qualifying tournament at Saujana Golf and Country Club in third place, Chun was tied for fourth with three other players at 5-under par going into Thursday's final hole. He sunk his birdie opportunity to earn the fourth and final Open Championship spot allotted to the field of 72.
"I haven't played at St. Andrews before or been anywhere near there," Chun said. "So I'm looking forward to it. I've only seen it on television and heard about it so to play there is amazing."
Chun, one of two amateurs in the IFQ -- Asia field, fired an opening round 5-under 67 on Wednesday. On Thursday, he made par on his first seven holes before a birdie on the par-4 eighth put him at 6-under at the turn. Bogies on Nos. 10 and 14, however, dropped him out of contention for the moment. He recovered immediately, carding a birdie on the par-4 15th for the second-straight day to set up his dramatic putt on the 18th green.
"I have never been so nervous in my life and I'm just happy it worked out well," Chun said. "I was really patient today and that was the key for me. Every putt I had out here these two days were as important as my last putt. All these other good putts led me to this opportunity."
Chun earned his shot at IFQ -- Asia by finishing as the runner-up at the inaugural Asian Amateur Championship in November of 2009. His birdie make on Thursday stands in contrast to the final stage of qualifying for the 2009 United States Open, when Chun held a two-shot lead with three holes to play before falling back into a playoff he would go on to lose. He stated before IFQ -- Asia that he hoped to "get a little payback" with a qualification for the 150th Open Championship.
Chun, who is the reigning Big Ten individual champion, will be the second active Wildcat in the last five years to participate in one of golf's four Major Championships. In 2006, then-senior Dillon Dougherty
competed in the Masters after finishing as the runner-up at the 2005 US Amateur.
For more information on The Open Championship, IFQ -- Asia and results, visit Opengolf.com. Northwestern's team is off for winter quarter finals before resuming the 2009-10 season March 25-26 at the Barona Collegiate Cup in San Diego, Calif.