Former Malaysian No 1 Danny Chia earned himself a sixth appearance in the CIMB Classic by defeating successor Gavin Green in a playoff at the CIMB National Championship.
Overnight leader Chia battled to a final round of 69 at TPC Kuala Lumpur after overcoming an early triple bogey with eight birdies for an eight-under-par 280 total.
Trailing by three at the start of the day, Green forced extra time with a glorious 66 highlighted by seven birdies. After both players traded pars on the first extra hole at the par five 18th, Chia claimed his third success at the qualifying tournament for the CIMB Classic with a birdie from six feet.
“Getting into the CIMB Classic again is great, and winning this event, beating Gavin in a play-off is very satisfying.
“I also haven’t won in a while and I didn’t want a second place. I just went all out,” said the 44-year-old Chia.
“Normally I can’t read the greens here too well but this week, I putted well and I hope it’ll give me the confidence at the CIMB Classic. I love this layout, so if I can putt well here, I’m going to be feeling confident,” he added.
With the CIMB National Championship, previously known as the SapuraKencana National Classic, offering a spot in October’s US$7 million CIMB Classic only to the winner, the 23-year-old Green will take heart that he will likely earn a spot in the PGA Tour tournament through the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Currently fourth on the money rankings, Green needs to remain in the top-10 as of October 9 to qualify for the second successive year. The highest ranked Malaysian on the Official World Golf Ranking as of October 2 will also earn a spot.
Rookie professional Amir Nazrin Jailani finished a creditable third after signing off with a 69, which included a missed birdie attempt at the 18th hole which would have put him into the play-off.
Ben Leong, who held a one-shot lead at the turn, settled for fourth position following a 70 to finish two back of the play-off duo. He lost a playoff to Green in last year’s event.
280: Gavin Green 72-70-72-66, Danny Chia 68-70-73-69
(Chia won with a birdie on the second play-off hole)
281: Amir Nazrin Jailani 69-71-72-69
282: Ben Leong 65-76-71-70
283: Sukree Othman 70-69-76-68
288: Wilson Choo 69-71-74-74