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Kim shines in hazy Kuching for maiden ADT title

Malaysia’s Leunkwang Kim clinched his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the haze-shortened PGM MNRB ADT Championship, closing with a four-under-par 68 to win by one shot over compatriot Daeng Abdul Rahman and American Samuel Cyr.

Kim, who opened his campaign with a 69, marked his card with one eagle and five birdies against three bogeys to seal his victory with a winning total of seven-under-par 137 at Kelab Golf Sarawak. The tournament was reduced to 36 holes after two days of play was lost due to unhealthy haze conditions in Kuching on Thursday and Friday.

Thailand’s Chonlatit Chuenboonngam posted a closing 69 to finish two shots away from Kim in fourth place, followed by Malaysia’s M. Sasidaran (69) in fifth.

Singaporean Gregory Foo, Low Khai Jei of Malaysia, Korea’s Hyukchul Shin and Australian Adam Blyth finished tied-sixth on 141 following respective rounds of 69,71,71 and 70.

“I never expected it to be honest, I’m still trying to take it in,” said Kim, who pocketed RM39, 375 (US$9,397) for the win.

“I had fun out there. I hit the ball good, stayed patient and played my own game. I bogeyed 16 and 17, but birdied the last hole so it was nice. It was still hazy out there but I didn’t wear a mask because it would have affected my game,” added the 24-year-old.

Kim is the first Malaysian to win on the ADT circuit this year, maintaining Malaysia’s record of having at least one winner each season since the curcuit’s inception in 2010.

Kim did not have the best of starts, as he bogeyed the opening hole. But the Malaysian recovered with a birdie on the third, before sinking an eagle on the par-five fifth hole. He kept going with another three birdies on the back nine and did not let the consecutive bogeys on 16 and 17 bother him as he bounced back with a closing birdie on 18.

Daeng, who opened up a four-shot on lead with a superb 65 on Wednesday, was distraught after battling to a 73 to let the title slip away. “I have never won an ADT event and was really looking forward to winning this. But it is difficult when you made four bogeys out there,” he said.

Results (Top 10 and ties)
137 – Leunkwang Kim (MAS) 69-68
138 – Daeng Rahman (MAS) 65-73, Samuel Cyr (USA) 70-68
139 – Chonlatit Chuenboonngam (THA) 70-69
140 – M. Sasidaran (MAS) 71-69
141 – Gregory Foo 72-69 (SIN), Low Khai Jei (MAS) 70-71, Hyukchul Shin (KOR) 70-71, Adam Blyth (AUS) 71-70
142 – Tawit Polthai (THA) 70-72, Amir Nazrin (MAS) 73-69, Namchok Tantipokhakul (THA) 70-72, Seung Park (KOR) 69-73, Choo Tze Huang (SIN) 71-71, Kasidit Lepkurte (THA) 70-72, Amarin Kraivixien (THA) 70-72, Koh Deng Shan (SIN) 70-72

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