Bringolf, Pan victorious in Malaysian Amateur Open

Alor Gajah, Melaka; April 22: Australian Daniel Bringolf  took full advantage of a final-day collapse by overnight leader Chieh Po Lee to lift the 109th Malaysian Amateur Golf Championship at the A’Famosa Golf Resort.

The 20-year-old from Sydney closed with a one-under-par 71 for a tournament total of 12-under-par 276 to take the title by four strokes. Chieh, who had taken a slender two-shot lead into the final round, shot a miserable error-strewn round of 77 and the Taiwanese suffered a further ignominy when he fell into the pond while looking for his ball at the seventh.

Shooting a round of 71, Faldo Series Asia winner Abhijit Chadha of India took sole third on seven-under-par 281 while Singapore’s Lam Zhiqun was two strokes back on 283 after carding a round of 68. Malaysia’s best finisher was Abel Tam, who finished with a 73 today.

After making the turn with two bogeys to his card, a birdie on the 10th saw Bringolf taking the lead for the first time during the tournament and he added two further birdies to cement his victory on foreign soil. I was just playing well throughout the tournament and my aim was to maintain my form and today, everything just fell into place,” he said. “I thought if I put a little pressure later, it might crack him (Chieh) and I’ll be able to take the lead and the outcome was better than expected.”

A double bogey on the first meant Chieh’s advantage quickly evaporated and the Taipei native dropped two further shots on the front nine, including on the seventh when his caddie had to help pull him out from the edge of the nearby pond. “I tried to make it two-on, but failed and while searching for my ball in what I thought was a dry hazard, I slid into the pond,” rued the 16-year-old teen. A  further double bogey on the par-five 13th put paid to his title hopes despite two birdies on the homeward nine.

Meanwhile, in the ladies’ division, Aretha Pan Herng became the first Malaysian to have a name engraved on the trophy when she held on to her three-day lead to beat Filipino Dottie Ardina by one stroke.

Two bogeys in the first four holes almost blew her title challenge but the plucky 17-year-old showed maturity as she drained two birdies against a bogey on the back nine to stay ahead of the chasing pack.

Today my putting was quite bad. I didn’t need to do many chipping as I found the greens in regulations. Without any prompting, the Sabahan lass gushed, “I got my driving license!” referring to her father’s promise of a new ride should she win this event.”

The Philippines claimed both runner-up and third spots through Dottie Ardina, who closed with a 69 for a three-day total of 212, followed by Jayvie Agojo on 213 strokes.

Taiwan had the scant consolation of winning the  ladies’ two-day team event.

Final scores and ties

Men’s division
276 Daniel Bringolf (AUS)(69-69-67-71)
280 Chieh Po Lee (TPE) (65-67-71-77)
281 Abhijit Chadha (IND) (69-70-71-71)
283 Lam Zhiqun (SIN) (74-71-70-68)
284 Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) (71-72-69-72)
285 Jobim Carlos (PHI) (68-71-75-71)
286 Ryan Peake (AUS) (74-68-73-71)
288 Koh Deng Shan (SIN) (71-72-73-72); Natipong Srithong (THA) (71-70-73-74)
289 Wei Hou Liu (TPE) (75-75-67-72)
290 Marc Ong (SIN) (73-72-73-72)

Selected scores
293 Abel Tam (MAS) (73-73-74-73)
294 Kenneth De Silva (MAS) (73-72-77-72); Mohd Azman Basharuddin (MAS) (77-72-73-72)
296 Gavin Kyle Green (MAS) (72-81-72-71); Chan Tuck Soon (MAS) (73-78-73-72)

Ladies’ division

210 Aretha Pan Herng (MAS) 68-69-73
212 Dottie Ardina (PHI) 71-72-69
213 Jayvie Agojo (PHI) 69-71-73
216 Pinrath Loomboonruang (THA) 69-78-69
219 Iman Ahmad Nordin (MAS) 75-72-72
220 Chihiro Ikeda (PHI) 75-73-72
221 Andie Unson (PHI) (76-74-71); Sunshine Baraquiel (PHI) 74-70-77; Hsin En Tsai (TPE) (70-71-80)
223 Isza Fariza Ismail (MAS) (74-72-77); Chi Wang (TPE) (70-69-84)