6 Jun 2011

Long comes up short in China

2:03 pm on 6 June 2011

New Zealand golf veteran Michael Long has come up just short of winning the China Masters on the One Asia Tour, losing in a four-way playoff to South Korean Kim Bi-o.

The 42-year-old, who held a share of the lead heading into the final round at the Nanshan International Golf Club at 10 under par, shot an even par round to join Kim and Australians Craig Hancock and Scott Laycock at that total.

Long, who had rounds of 70, 67 and 69 in the first three rounds, endured an up and down final round.

He made a birdie at the fifth before making back to back bogeys on the ninth and 10th holes to lose momentum.

The tall New Zealander was among the favourites for the title after a phenomenal week of ball striking.

He made a birdie on 15 then bogeyed 16, only to rally with a must-make birdie on the last to get back to 10 under par and join the three other players in the playoff.

It's Long's best finish on the One Asia Tour this season.

Korean "Big Foot" Kim was fearless in the final round and fully deserved the win, making eight birdies and two bogeys to card a six under par 66 and claim his maiden title on the One Asia Tour.

Michael Hendry, who will defend his title at the Indonesian Open on July the 14th, was the next best New Zealander with a two under par 70 in the final round to finish 15th.