Sentosa - Korean-American Micah Lauren Shin was thrilled to rediscover his best form as he breaks into the top-10 on the latest Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings after capping a noteworthy joint runner-up finish at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup on Sunday.
Shin, who claimed his Asian Tour breakthrough in 2017, had endured an uncharacteristic run of poor form prior to his fine showing at the Sobu Country Club in Japan. He missed the halfway cut twice and has never finish inside top-60 in five starts since the start of the season.
With his father on the bag last week, Shin found himself leading by two shots at the halfway stage after opening with rounds of 71 and 67 at the JPY150,000,000 (US$1,338,000) event, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).
A pair of closing 72s, however, saw the 22-year-old Shin settle for a share of second place alongside local amateur Ren Yonezawa on two-under-par 282, just a shot behind Yosuke Asaji of Japan, who closed with a 72 to claim his first professional title.
Despite missing out on his second Tour victory, Shin took pride in his confidence-boosting finish which marked his best result since his victory in Manila in 2017 and propelled him to a career-high seventh place on the Merit rankings, thanks to a current haul of US$162,231.
“It’s disappointing to miss out on the win of course but I really tired my best to catch him (Asaji). I haven’t been playing well lately and I needed a result like this to boost my confidence,” said Shin, who has been based in Davao, Philippines with his father for more than half a decade.
“But I know I have the game to do well so hopefully, this is the start of better things to come,” added the young talent, who came through the Qualifying School in 2017 before going on to claim his breakthrough win at the Resorts World Manila Masters the same year.
Shin’s maiden win in the Philippines held extra significance as it came after the then 20-year-old called a ruling on himself on the opening hole of the final round and was penalised two strokes for having 15 clubs in the bag.
His two-year winner’s exemption ends this season but Shin has virtually retained his card for 2020 as he is likely to finish inside top-60 on the final Order of Merit following his tied-second finish in Japan.
Zimbabwean Scott Vincent recorded his second top-10 result this season after battling to a 72 to finish three shots back in tied-sixth place. He would move up a spot to eighth position on the money list, where Australian Scott Hend continues to lead on US$527,530.
Thailand’s rising star Jazz Janewattananond, who will be making his debut appearance at the PGA Championship this week, remains in second place with US$471,295 while Korea’s Taehee Lee took third on US$266,798.
Top-20 players on the Habitat for Humanity Standings
Pos Player Order of Merit (US$)
1. Scott HEND (AUS) $527,530.94
2. Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) $471,295.40
3. Taehee LEE (KOR) $266,798.00
4. Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) $249,266.67
5. Zach MURRAY (AUS) $197,444.91
6. Johannes VEERMAN (USA) $167,216.73
7. Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) $162,231.17
8. Scott VINCENT (ZWE) $142,062.24
9. David LIPSKY (USA) $137,309.79
10. Janne KASKE (FIN) $106,719.00
11. Prom MEESAWAT (THA) $91,980.10
12. Panuphol PITTAYARAT (THA) $87,509.11
13. Sadom KAEWKANJANA (THA) $81,777.54
14. Berry HENSON (USA) $78,774.09
15. S. CHIKKARANGAPPA (IND) $77,128.12
16. Yuta IKEDA (JPN) $74,749.19
17. Ajeetesh SANDHU (IND) $70,801.84
18. Jarin TODD (USA) $68,128.75
19. Paul PETERSON (USA) $67,402.25
20. Dongkyu JANG (KOR) $62,607.25