Catlin wins thrilling battle for Sarawak Championship

John Catlin of the United States sank a clutch birdie putt on the last hole to win his second Asian Tour title at the US$300,000 Sarawak Championship.

The 27-year-old held his nerve to roll in a ten-footer on the par-four 18th to edge the talented Thai duo of Jazz Janewattananond and Danthai Boonma and compatriot Paul Peterson by a single shot at Damai Golf & Country Club.

There was very little breathing space for Catlin in the final round but he eventually prevailed after returning with a bogey-free six-under-par 66 for a 22-under-par 266 total in the inaugural Asian Tour event.

A fast-charging Jazz birdied 16 and eagled 17 for a superb 64 to set the clubhouse target on 21-under before settling for second place with countryman Danthai (66) and overnight leader Peterson, who also birdied the last to finish with a 68.

With Jazz safely in the clubhouse, the Sarawak Championship looked likely to enter extra time before Catlin stepped up to sink the crucial putt under immense pressure.

“It was a grind all week long. People keep making birdies and I asked myself ‘when is my birdie going to be enough!’ I finally did it on the 18th hole and that’s what I needed,” said Catlin, who won his first Asian Tour title at the Asia-Pacific Classic in China in May.

Jazz failed to win back-to-back titles following his Queen’s Cup victory last week but the result will give him and Danthai confidence ahead of their Major debut at The Open in two weeks.

Malaysia’s best finisher was seasoned campaigner Sukree Othman in T21 place on 11-under-par.

RESULTS (Top 10 and ties)

266 – John CATLIN (USA) 67-65-68-66.

267 – Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 66-66-71-64, Danthai BOONMA (THA) 67-66-68-66, Paul PETERSON (USA) 63-67-69-68.

268 – Javi COLOMO (ESP) 66-67-68-67.

269 – Mark BROWN (NZL) 65-71-67-66.

270 – Scott VINCENT (ZIM) 67-69-70-64, Johannes VEERMAN (USA) 67-70-68-65, Kevin LEE (KOR) 67-65-71-67.”

272 – Peradol PANYATHANASEDH (THA) 66-69-67-70.

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