Byeong-Hun blasts past McIlroy

Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Springfield - South Korea's An Byeong-Hun won the PGA Long Drive contest staged Tuesday, blasting a 347-yard drive to edge Rory McIlroy on a practice day for the 98th PGA Championship.

The 24-year-old from Seoul smashed the winning shot at Baltusrol's par-4 opening hole, rolling the ball past four-time major winner McIlroy's 345-yard effort and a 341-yard blast from Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts to capture the title.

Byeong-Hun, whose parents were each table tennis medalists at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, hit the longest tee shot in the event since Andy Franks smashed a 346-yard drive in 1982 at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The podium finishers will receive gold, silver and bronze money clips in respective order inspired by the one given Jack Nicklaus for his 1963 win with a 341-yard effort.

Donations will also be made to charities the top trio designate of $25 000 $15 000 and $10 000.

The event has been staged sporadically since 1952 with the record a 366-yard drive by Evan Williams in 1974 at North Carolina's Tanglewood Golf Club.

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