Kuala Lumpur, October 14: Australia’s Marc Leishman became the first non-American to win the CIMB Classic title with an imperious final round performance at TPC Kuala Lumpur.
Leishman carded a superb 65 to finish on 26-under-par at TPCKL’s West Course, claiming his fourth PGA Tour title by five shots from Emiliano Grillo of Argentina and Americans Bronson Burgoon and Chesson Hadley.
Leishman nailed four birdies in his first five holes and added four more at the 9th, 10th, 16th and 18th. The only blemish on his scorecard was a bogey at the par-four 13th.
Two-time winner Justin Thomas shot a closing 64 to tie for fifth on 20-under-par with Gary Woodland and Louis Oosthuizen.
India’s Shubhankar Sharma, joint leader with Leishman and Woodland going into the final round, fell back into joint 10th place after an even-par 72.
Leishman was thrilled with his win, especially the way he played the back nine.
“Yesterday I started off great and struggled on the back nine, but I think that helped me today. I knew that even though I got off to a good start, I still needed to grind because there’s some tough holes out there,” said the 34-year-old.
“Managed to hit some good shots and this is the result. It’s great to get back in the winner’s circle, excited to be back in Malaysia and leaving with this trophy,” added Leishman.
In addition to the winner’s cheque for US$1.26 million, Leishman also won an Enrich Platinum card for himself and his wife. Enrich is the frequent flyer programme of Malaysia Airlines.
Malaysia’s Ben Leong finished T54 on -7 after a closing 72, while compatriot Jeremiah Kim Leun Kwang was 78th on +13 after signing off with 71.
RESULTS (Top 10 and ties)
262 – Marc Leishman (AUS) 68-62-67-65
267 – Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 66-68-67-66, Chesson Hadley (USA) 67-68-66-66, Bronson Burgoon (USA) 63-69-67-68
268 – Justin Thomas (USA) 66-69-69-64, Abraham Ancer (MEX) 67-68-68-65, Charles Howell III (USA) 69-67-65-67, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 66-68-65-69, Gary Woodland (USA) 69-61-67-71
269 – Kevin Chappell (USA) 66-67-71-65, Siwoo Kim (KOR) 67-71-66-65, Shubhankar Sharma (IND) 67-64-66-72