Shin shakes off 'rookie mistake' penalty for debut tour win
Korean-American rookie Micah Shin recovered from a two-shot penalty for having too many clubs before recording his debut Asian Tour win in a playoff at the Manila Masters on Sunday.
The 20-year-old was penalized at the first hole for having 15 clubs in his bag — one more than is allowed — but he roared back to score 67 for 19-under-par 269, forcing the playoff with Thailand's Arnond Vongvanij.
On the first extra hole, the par-5 18th, Shin held his nerve to drain a birdie putt from four feet and pick up the US$180,000 winner's check, the biggest payday of his career so far.
"I got a two-shot penalty on the opening hole for having too many clubs in my bag. But after that, I kept telling myself maybe it needed that penalty to keep me on my toes and focus more," said Shin, according to an Asian Tour press release.
"I needed that confidence to get back into position. I focused on every hole and managed to get back into contention. Actually I was very hesitant and trusted my caddie too much and I guess that's a rookie mistake.
"I'm still at loss for words right now as this win will change my life."
Shin, who had scores of 64, 72, 66 and 67, started the day one adrift of overnight leaders Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines and India's Jyoti Randhawa at the par-72 Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.
After the nightmare start to his final round, he also bogeyed the par-3 third hole but then fired four birdies before the turn and another four on the back nine, including on 17 and 18.
With his win, the world No. 784 — whose highest earnings so far had been US$6,791 for tied 36th at this year's Shinhan Donghae Open — moves to 14th on the Asian Tour's order of merit.
Davao-based Shin came through Q-school this year to earn his tour card and he hasn't missed a cut in 10 starts, although his previous highest finish was tied 15th at the Queen's Cup in June.
Tabuena and Thai Phachara Khongwatmai finished joined second, one shot back of the leaders, with Randhawa and local Justin Quiban a further two shots behind on 272 total.