Kim Hyuan-tae thought he was cruising to victory with two holes to play Sunday at the Korea Open in Cheonan, South Korea.
But Kim, who started the final round with a four-shot lead, was assessed a two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in a hazard and lost to Kang Sung-hoon.
Kim disputed the penalty and he discussed the violation for two hours with officials from the OneAsia Tour. A panel from the Korea Golf Association voted 5-3 against Kim.
It was an awkward ending for Kang, who closed with a 2-under 69 for a one-shot victory over Kim, Rory McIlroy (67) and two others.
“I’m a really good friend of his so at the moment it doesn’t feel great,” Kang said. “Even though I won the tournament, I just feel really sorry for him. I was actually out there to celebrate for him, but I don’t know what to say. It’s horrible.”
Kim had a one-shot lead when he was notified on the 17th tee that he and playing partner Hong Soon-sang grounded their clubs in an area on the 13th deemed to be a hazard. They finished their rounds before reviewing the violation (Rule 13-4) with officials.
The two-shot penalty gave Kim a closing 77.
Webb Simpson cruised to victory at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, pulling away for a six-stroke win over Ryo Ishikawa and Jason Bohn.
Simpson closed with a 5-under 66 in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open for his first PGA Tour win since the 2012 U.S. Open.
1ST-TIME LPGA WINNER
Amy Yang made a 15-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff to beat South Korean compatriot Hee Kyung Seo in the LPGA Tour’s KEB HanaBank Championship in Incheon, South Korea.
Yang finished with a 3-under 69 to win her first LPGA Tour title.
Michelle Wie, who started in a tie for 22nd, surged to third with the day’s lowest round, a 6-under 66.
Michael Allen closed with a 5-under 65 to win the Greater Hickory Classic in Conover, N.C. He beat Olin Browne with a birdie on the first playoff hole to win his second Champions Tour event. … South Korea’s Jin Jeong, formerly the world’s top-ranked amateur, beat England’s Ross Fisher with a par on the first hole of a playoff to make the Perth International in Australia his first professional victory. … Australia’s Scott Hend won the Macau Open for his third Asian Tour victory of the year, closing with a 4-under 67 for a three-stroke victory over a field that inlcuded South African star Ernie Els.