BEIJING, CHINA—Hong Kong’s Motin Yeung, 24, leapt to second in this year’s PGA TOUR Series-China Order of Merit following his emotional playoff victory at the Kunming Championship on Sunday, while joint runner-up Callum Tarren of England leapt to fifth after six of 14 events.
American Charlie Saxon, now World No. 204, extended his lead at the top after a tie for fourth increased his season earnings to RMB 758,335, with Yeung totalling RMB 386,425 following his RMB 270,000 cheque in Kunming, where he started the week 18th on the money list.
Korean Todd Baek, winner of last month’s Haikou Championship, is third with RMB367,650, while Chengdu Championship winner Jeffrey Kang of the U.S.A. has RMB 333,900.
Tarren (RMB 323,600) and fellow Englishman William Harrold (RMB 311,050) are fifth and sixth, having both recorded two runner-up finishes this season, while Chongqing Championship winner Yi Cao (RMB 310,253) of China is seventh. The top-10 features players from eight countries and regions including Japan, Canada and Chinese Taipei.
The top-five on this year’s money list will earn status on next year’s Web.com Tour and follow in the footsteps of the likes of China No. 1 Haotong Li and current PGA TOUR players Xinjun Zhang and Zecheng “Marty” Dou.
The PGA TOUR Series-China resumes in July with a three-week swing starting with events in the coastal cities of Yantai and Qingdao in Shandong before Beijing hosts the season’s ninth tournament.
The Yantai Championship (July 12-15) will be held at Yantai Nanshan Mashanzhai Golf Club and followed by the Qingdao Championship (July 19-22) at Tiger Beach Golf Links, then the action moves north to the capital for the Beijing Championship (July 26-29) at Topwin Golf and Country Club.
The Florida-based Yeung, who was born and raised in Beijing before moving to the U.S.A. in 2006, is now another contender for a Web.com Tour card after earning full status on the PGA TOUR Series-China through 2019 with his victory at Yulongwan Golf Club in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province bordering Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.
It was a sensational performance by Yeung, who in February failed to earn any status at the Tour’s second International Qualifying Tournament.
Yeung, who turned pro in September 2016 after playing college golf at Duke University in North Carolina, was tied for eighth, 13th and 29th respectively after the first three rounds of the 72-hole event at Mission Hills Haikou. The top-15 earned full cards and 16-40 earned conditional status, but he missed out on any status after a closing 81.
After also missing out in the Monday qualifier for the season-opening Chengdu Championship in March, he progressed through the qualifier for the following week’s Chongqing Championship and tied for 14th, so securing his place in the next event (available to top 20 not otherwise exempt).
In May, Yeung recorded ties for 15th and sixth respectively at the Changsha Championship and Haikou Championship to extend his appearances on the Tour.
In this month’s Guilin Championship, he finished joint 29th so had to rely on a sponsor exemption to compete in Kunming, where he became the first Hong Kong player to win on the Tour.
Every tournament on this year’s PGA TOUR Series-China offers RMB 1.5 million, a 25-percent increase over purse levels from 2016.
The PGA TOUR established PGA TOUR Series-China in 2014 as its third international developmental tour, following in the footsteps of PGA TOUR Latinoamerica and the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada. Since its inception, PGA TOUR Series-China players have received Official World Golf Ranking points for top finishes at official tournaments.