Kuala Lumpur, April 15: Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung won the PGM UMW Championship after prevailing in a three-way playoff against compatriot Gavin Green and Japan’s Masaru Takahashi.
Fung dropped a bogey on his 72nd hole to close with a two-under-par 69 and was forced into sudden death with Green and Masaru, who carded equal 70s, after the trio tied on 12-under-par 272 in regulation play at TPC Kuala Lumpur’s East Course.
The 26-year-old Fung claimed the title after rolling in an eight-footer for birdie on the first extra hole, the par-four 18th, at the RM200,000 (approx. US$44,600) event. Green and Masaru, who had held a one-shot lead heading into the final round, bowed out with a par and a bogey respectively to settle for a share of second place in the fourth leg of the 2017 Asian Development Tour (ADT) title schedule.
“I got ahead of myself on the 18 in regulation play. I was in a rush. I hit a wayward drive into the left rough and made a bogey there. It was really gloomy out there and I wanted to finish before the rain comes,” said Fung, who picked up his third ADT title.
“When I head back to the 18 for the play-off, I told myself to just go for it. I had a good drive and I hit my second shot to within eight feet. I am glad I got the job done,” added the bespectacled Sabahan.
Fung, was was the 2013 ADT Order of Merit champion, overcame a sore arm and the lengthy weather suspensions to claim his 18th professional title. He had to play a total of 28 holes on Saturday due to earlier weather disruptions in the week.
“I am still feeling pain in the right arm but it’s getting better and I am slowly recovering. I was prepared for the weather suspensions actually, knowing the weather here in Kuala Lumpur. I just stayed patient. This win is a great confidence boost for me. I hope to carry on my good form onto the Asian Tour in the next two weeks,” said Fung.
Fung takes home a winner’s prize purse of US$7,954 and will also receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points following his victory. The ADT, which is celebrating its seventh season this year, will reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2018.
Green’s younger brother Galven, who is still an amateur, did well to finish 12th with a 278 total that included a superb third round 65.
272 – Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 66 68 69 69, Gavin GREEN (MAS) 70 65 67 70, Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 67 68 67 70
273 – Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 72 67 70 64
274 – Nattawat SUVANAJANAKORN (THA) 70 70 68 66, Martin DIVE (AUS) 69 69 72 64, Narutoshi YAMAOKA (JPN) 71 66 69 68, Shariffuddin ARIFFIN (MAS) 68 66 69 71
276 – Steve LEWTON (ENG) 67 70 69 70
277 – Oscar ZETTERWALL (SWE) 70 72 69 66, Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) 69 67 72 69
278 – Galven Kendall GREEN (A) (MAS) 72 68 65 73, Danny CHIA (MAS) 71 70 69 68, Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 70 69 71 68, Pannakorn UTHAIPAS (THA) 70 68 70 70