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Noh Sets New Standard for Asian Tour
South Korea's Noh Seung-Yul has become the youngest player to ever top the Asian Tour's money list. The 19-year-old earned $822,361 in 2010, winning the Tour's Order of Merit and the Player's Player of the Year, which was voted on by his fellow members.
The awards were announced during a ceremony on Sunday in Thailand following the final event of the 2010 season, the Black Mountain Masters, which was won by Japan's Tetsuji Hiratsuka. Seung-Yul was unable to attend, however, as he recently underwent corrective eye surgery.
In a video message to the attendees, he remarked: "I am honored becoming the youngest-ever Asian Tour champion in history. It is also special for me to win the Players' Player of the Year Award as this is nominated by my fellow professionals."
Currently ranked 66th in the world, Seung-Yul enjoyed a fine year. He won the Malaysian Open in March and had four other top-10 finishes on the Asian Tour. In addition, he didn't miss a cut in any event he played.
He also made the weekend rounds in two of the three major championships he entered, finishing 40th in the U.S. Open and tied for 28th at the PGA Championship.
"The Asian Tour has done so much in my career and I am thankful for the opportunities that I have enjoyed since coming through from qualifying school in 2008," Seung-Yul said. "My game has become better over the years through the high level of competition and I will continue to represent the tour proudly."
In 2009, he won the Midea China Classic and was named Asian Tour Rookie of the Year. Since the Malaysian Open is an event co-sanctioned by the European Tour, the win made Seung-Yul the second-youngest winner (18 years, 282 days) ever on the European Tour after Danny Lee (18 years, 213 days).
Seung-Yul also finished 2010 ranked 34th on the European Tour Order of Merit.