Ryan Moore put on a polished display of iron-striking to defend the CIMB Classic title in style at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC), winning by three shots from Sergio Garcia, Kevin Na and Gary Woodland.
Moore carded a closing 67 to finish on 17-under-par at KLGCC’s West Course, pocketing the US$1.26 million winner’s cheque in the only official PGA Tour event in Southeast Asia. The American became the first golfer to defend a title on the PGA Tour since Tiger Woods in the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational.
As Moore celebrated his win in front of large galleries enjoying the sunshine after three days of rain and weather delays, it was a case of what might have been for the joint runner-up trio.
Garcia’s challenge was effectively derailed at the par five 10th hole when his drive got lost in the trees on the left, resulting in a double bogey. The popular Spaniard was hitting some wayward shots but made up with excellent putting to seal a share of second place.
Na was in the lead by one shot at the turn but a poor back nine of 38 forced him to settle for second. The Korean American missed a short putt for birdie at the par four 14th and lost his ball in the trees at 17 as the pressure mounted over the closing stretch.
Woodland, who lost a Monday morning playoff to Moore last year at the same course, could have sealed outright second but made a three-putt bogey at the last hole when his par attempt from four feet rimmed the hole.
The two Malaysians in the 78-player field , Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung, finished in joint 65th position on five-over-par.
Results (Top 10 and ties):
271 Ryan MOORE (USA) 68-69-67-67
274 Gary WOODLAND (USA) 71-70-66-67, Kevin NA (USA) 69-68-67-70, Sergio GARCIA (ESP) 69-68-68-69
276 Cameron SMITH (AUS) 70-69-69-68, BAE Sang-moon (KOR) 71-68-68-69
277 John SENDEN (AUS) 72-68-69-68
278 Rory SABBATINI (RSA) 70-72-70-66, Davis LOVE III (USA) 68-71-71-68, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 68-71-70-69, Angelo QUE (PHI) 67-72-69-70, Billy HURLEY III (USA) 67-67-71-73