Relieved Rashid savours sweet taste of victory

Md Rashid Ismail kisses the PGM Johor Classic trophy

Johor Bahru, July 14: After a  four-year hiatus, Mohd Rashid Ismail savoured the sweet taste of victory once again after cruising to the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Johor Classic title today.

The 38-year-old from Kluang had a happy homecoming after holding on for a wire-to-wire victory at the Johor Golf & Country Club. A closing 70 saw Rashid amass a four-day total of 14-under-par 274 for a eight-shot victory over Sukree Othman, who settled for second after a final round best of 69.

Rookie professional Iylia Mohd Jamil recovered superbly with a solid 71 to take sole possession of third place on four-under 284 with the trio of Shaifubari Muda, Haziq Hamizan and Lim Eng Seng one stroke behind in a share of fourth on 285.

Previous winners S. Sivachandhran and R. Nachimuthu were tied for ninth in the RM150,000 tournament, which was the 10th leg of the burgeoning PGM Tour. PGM Terengganu Classic champion Shaaban Hussin, who lied six strokes of the lead at the start of the round, collapsed down the leaderboard after a nightmare 82 to finish tied-15th overall.

The victory – Rashid’s  first since winning the PNB Kinrara Masters in 2007 – earned him the winner’s purse of RM26,250.

In another development, PGM Tour chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid announced that PGM Sabah Classic, from July 25-28 will now carry a prize purse of RM200,000 to encourage more participants to make the trip to Sabah Golf & Country Club.

Leading final round scores:
274 Md Rashid Ismail (66-69-69-70)
282 Sukree Othman (71-71-71-69)
284 Iylia Jamil (68-69-76-71)
285 Shaifubari Muda (73-69-72-71), Haziq Hamizan (72-72-68-73), Lim Eng Seng (72-69-71-73)
286 S. Sivachandhran (71-73-71-71), R. Nachimuthu (70-72-72-72)
287 Akhmal Tarmizee Nazari (71-74-70-72), Hilmi Abdul Rahman (68-73-72-74)
288 Airil Rizman Zahari (74-73-67-74), Khor Kheng Hwai (68-74-72-74)