Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama shot a closing 67 to successfully defend his Asian Amateur Championship title by one shot from Korea’s Lee Soo-min.
Showing great composure in ideal scoring conditions at Singapore Island Country Club’s New Course, Matsuyama chalked up five birdies in a second successive bogey-free round to finish with a four-round total of 18-under-par 270 (67-71-65-67).
The 20-year-old university student will thus make his second successive appearance in The Masters next April and will be looking to repeat his amazing performance at Augusta National this year, when he finished as low amateur in tied 27th spot.
Matsuyama also won a start in the Asian Tour’s season-ender, the Thailand Golf Championship, and – along with runner-up Lee – a place in International Final Qualifying for the 2012 British Open.
Lee was on fire in the final round, raking up nine birdies against just one dropped shot to close his campaign with a tournament low score of eight-under-par 64.
Meanwhile, third round leader Ben Campbell stumbled with a double bogey on his second hole and was always playing catch up from them on. He could have tied Lee for second spot with a birdie at the last hole but just missed from 15 feet to settle for third place.
15-year-old Low Khai Jei showed his immense potential by finishing as the best Malaysian in tied 12th spot on six-under-par 282 (73-69-71-69), carding a closing round of 69.
Kenneth De Silva meanwhile struggled on the last day but did well to birdie two of the last three holes to sign off with a 76, finishing in joint 17th place on three-under-par 285 (67-69-73-76). The other Malaysian to make the cut, 14-year-old, Paul San finished in joint 54th place on 10-over-par 298 (76-74-73-75)
“Today I putted really well and I sank two long birdie putts from off the green on Holes 2 and 4,” said Low. “I was driving well and I was finding the fairways, and my irons were good too. I’m very happy with my performance as this is my first time in the Asian Amateur Championship.”
Organised by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) and supported by the Masters Tournament and The R&A, the Asian Amateur Championship was inaugurated in 2009 with the first event staged at the Mission Hills Golf Club inChina. The 2010 edition at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Japan saw Matsuyama chalk up an impressive five-shot win over Australia’s Tarquin MacManus.
120 golfers from 35 APGC member countries teed-off in this year’s edition.
-17 Lee Soo-Min (KOR)
-16 Ben Campbell (NZ)
-15 Cameron Smith (AUS)
-12 Masamichi Ito (JAP)
-11 Jake Higginbottom (AUS)
-8 Masahiro Kawamura (JAP), Lee Tae Wan (KOR)
-7 Matthew Perry (NZ), Choo Tze Huang (SIN),VaughanMcCall (NZ)
-6 Shinji Tomimura (JAP), Low Khai Jei (MAS)