Kota Kinabalu, Thurs.-Twenty-one-year old Sabahan Nicholas Fung, who began his golfing career at the Sabah Golf and Country Club and played there thousands of times, did not disappoint the local crowds who showed up to give him support, by winning the PGM Sabah Classic.
This is his first PGM Tour and a second professional win following his match play win in a Mercedes match play championship in Vietnam.
Leading from the opening day until the end Fung shot an even par-72 on the final round for a four-day total of 4-under 284 to beat Danny Chia by two shots.
Starting the final round at 4-under Fung dropped a shot at the par-4 4th but managed to get it back at the par-4 13th to go back to 4-under.
Starting the final round at 2-under, two shots behind Fung, Danny tried to pose a challenge right up to the last hole, a par-5 18th, when he managed to reach the green in two and was putting for eagle.
But the eagle never came although at that time Fung had a three- shot advantage but Fung took three to get on the green. Thus when Danny failed to get his eagle, the pressure was off for Fung.
“On the first nine, I was a bit nervous but after that I stayed calm and try not to any mistake, “Fung, who said he would now often on the PGM Tour. Before he was playing on the OneAsia Tour and Asean PGA Tour.
“Today I managed to put the ball in places that I wanted,” so I was not under pressure, “said Fung said. “I will definitely play in the PGM Sarawak Classic, “said Fung.
Chia said he tried his best to challenge Fung but Fung played very well. “That’s golf, “said Chia, “when I made birdie at the 16th I thought my chances are still there.”
Throughout the four-day event, players found it rather difficult to handle the swirling wind and the fast green. Thus manyof them returned with scores in the 70s and even 80s.
Even local players like Ben Leong and Iain Steel couldn’t come back with good scores. Leong finished 10th and Steel tied 14th.
Meanwhile the best score of the day was produced by Sukree Othman, who shot an amazing 6-under 66. But he ended up in 20th position after disastrous 82 and 82 on the second and third day. On the first he shot even par-72.
“I was lucky to make all those putts for birdies because I went out early when there is no wind. The wind usually gets up in the afternoon,’’ said Sukree.
He made birdies at the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 9th, 10th, 12th and 13th and a bogey at the par-3 17th.
The best amateur is Jeremiah Kim who shot a 19-over 307 (76-82-74-75).
Meanwhile Chairman of PGM Tun Ahmad Sarji has announced that the total prize money for the next PGM, PGM Sarawak, will be RM250,000.
284 Nicholas Fung 67-72-73-72
286 Danny Chia 72-71-71-72
291 Haziq Hamizan 71-75-74-71
293 S. Murthy 76-74-72-71
293 Shaaban Hussin 71-75-74-71
294 S. Sivachandhran 74-73-74-73
295 Iylia Jamil 75-70-79-71
295 Akhmal Tarmizee 71-77-75-72
295 R. Nachimuthu 75-73-74-73
297 Ben Leong 72-71-82-72