Taichi Kho Wins World City Championship As Ian Poulter Misses Out On Open Spot
Kho made history by becoming the first player from Hong Kong to win on the Asian Tour
There was a lot up for grabs at the World City Championship, with the winner not just securing the trophy, but also a spot at The 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in July.
With so much at stake, and currently not qualified for the final men's Major of the year, Ian Poulter failed to secure a spot at Royal Liverpool, with the Englishman finishing seven shots back of fourth place, Bio Kim.
Poulter, who has played in 20 Open Championships, will have other opportunities to qualify but, due to LIV players not being able to feature in PGA Tour events, that window of possible qualification has narrowed considerably.
The day though belonged to Taichi Kho, who carded rounds of 64, 64 and 70 at the weather-affected tournament, as the 22-year-old not only secured a place at The Open Championship, but also became the first player from Hong Kong to win an Asian Tour event.
Having just turned professional in January, the nerves did slightly show on the final day, as Kho dropped shots at the third and sixth holes to see his lead over Miguel Tabuena go from four to two.
Battling back valiantly, he carded yet another bogey at the par 4 11th which saw his dwindling advantage drop to one shot. However, two stunning birdies at the 12th and 13th put it back to three and, from there, he parred in for a level-par round of 70 and a two shot victory.
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Speaking after his round, Kho stated that: “It feels like a dream – don’t wake me up," before adding "it was hard for me to keep it (under control) walking up the 18th because I knew what was in front of me. Just being at home in front of everyone, having my parents here, it just means the world to me.”
Along with Kho, Michael Hendry, Travis Smyth and Bo Kim have also booked their spots at The Open in July, with the next Open qualifier being the Wells Fargo Championship in May. Along with that tournament, there will be opportunities on both the Asian, DP World and PGA Tours, as well as the Regional and Final Open Qualifying events in June and July.
Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.
Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?
Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°
Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°
Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°
Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°
Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
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