Canada’s Justin Shin Wins PGA TOUR Series – China Macau Championship

Justin Shin wins the 2019 Macau Championship in China (Photo courtesy of PGA Tour Series-China/Zhuang Liu)

MACAU, China—Canada’s Justin Shin won his second career PGA TOUR Series-China title in wire-to-wire fashion and leaped 56 spots on the Order of Merit into 11th after banking the RMB 378,000 winner’s check at the season-ending Macau Championship. Shin is the 14th multiple-tournament winner in Series history. In 2015, the Seoul, South Korea, native via Maple Ridge, British Columbia, won the United Investments Real Estate Wuhan Open.

He is one of four Canadians to win on this Tour, joining Eugene Wong, Peter Campbell and Richard Jung, also a two-time winner.

Starting the day six strokes clear of China’s Zecheng Dou after opening rounds of 63-62-66, Shin continued his flawless play to card a 3-under 68 Sunday. He finished at 25-under, good for a five-stroke victory at Caesars Golf Macau. Dou, who won the 2016 Order of Merit and is a member of the Korn Ferry Tour, came to within three strokes of Shin after 12 holes but failed to close the large gap despite shooting a 65 to take solo second.

American Max McGreevy tied for 41st, which was still more than enough to secure Player of the Year Honors over compatriot Trevor Sluman, who missed the cut this week. McGreevy, who had nine top-10s and a victory this season, will have full playing rights for the 2020 Korn Ferry Tour season. American David Kocher finished third on the money list, while France’s Cyril Bouniol and South Korea’s Luke Kwon finished fourth and fifth to also secure Korn Ferry Tour membership.

Jung shot a 67 to secure third place, at 19-under, two shots ahead of Bouniol. Kwon tied for fifth, at 16-under, along with Thailand’s Suteepat Prateeptienchai, American Shotaro Ban and Australia’s Aaron Wilkin. Jung finished sixth on the Order of Merit, a performance that will allow him to skip the second stage of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament and advance to the final stage, set for mid-December outside Orlando, Fla.

“I’m really happy. Third place is always a good finish,” said Jung. “Obviously, my initial goal was to win, but Justin just played solid, solid golf all week. I played with him the last two days. [Saturday] on hole 2, when the pin was tucked left, he went for it and I knew it was going to be his week.” 

Jung added of his fellow Canadian, “I’ve known Justin since I was 11. To me, he is like my older brother. We are only a year apart but since I’ve known him since I was a kid, it just feels like we’re family and we were cheering for each other the whole week. It doesn’t matter where we are or which Tour we are playing, I know that he’s always pulling for me, and I’ll do the same for him as well.” 

Meanwhile, Shin was flawless all week, carding 24 birdies and two eagles against only three bogeys. He improved to No. 11 on the Order of Merit, just missing the top 10. He will be fully exempt on the 2020 PGA TOUR Series-China

“I just really wanted to have a second win here in China. My last one was in 2015, and I wanted to win so badly right away but it didn’t happen until now,” said Shin. “So, I’m just really glad I did, and I hope to get more wins out there now.”

Shin, who played a full season on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2017, had been struggling with his game in China. He came into this week ranked 67th on the Order of Merit and in danger of losing his Tour card for next season. However, a putter change last month followed by two good results on the Korean Tour obviously helped Shin regain his confidence.

That showed all week and again Sunday as he stayed calm and recorded three birdies in a bogey-free round despite feeling pressure from playing partner Dou.

“I knew I needed to keep playing aggressive because I knew Dou could make a lot of birdies, and he did. On the first nine he was 3-under, and he was catching,” said Shin. “I was struggling to make birdies and felt a lot of pressure because I knew that Dou could do a lot of crazy things. Luckily, I made a nice long putt on 12, which helped me make it through.”