No sweat for Richardson in A’Famosa

Peter Richardson © Arep Kulal/PGM Tour

Malacca: Peter Richardson knew he had to step it up a notch if he was to claim a maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory and the 28-year-old was satisfied with a week’s hard work after lifting the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) ADT Masters @ A’Famosa on Sunday.

The confident Englishman closed his campaign with another polished display, signing off with a round of three-under 69 for a 18-under-par 270 overall and an eight-stroke advantage over runner-up Rashid Ismail at A’Famosa Golf Resort.

Japan’s Go Nakauchi took third place on 279 while Singapore’s Mitchell Slorach finished in tied-fourth place alongside Japan’s Mitsuhiko Hashizume and Korea’s Kim Ji-hoon on 282 at the RM180,000 (approximately US$60,000) co-sanctioned event.

Richardson started his round with an almost unassailable seven-shot lead and endured an early scare when he dropped a shot at the par-five fourth but quickly regained his composure with birdies on the seven and nine holes to turn in on 35.

He then birdied the 14th hole before a draining a 25-foot birdie effort on the closing hole to seal a stylish victory on his third ADT start and put himself in a good position of finishing in the top-three of the Order of Merit at the end of the season and earn an Asian Tour card for next year.

“Just played really solid. Bringing in a seven-shot lead was definitely an advantage but I was careful knowing what Rashid is capable of doing, so it was great to hole some crucial par saves out there today to hold on for the victory,” said Richardson.

“It’s fantastic feeling to win this week here in Melaka. I played well in the first two events (PGM Impian Masters and PGM Johor Masters) but it just wasn’t good enough. I was a bit undecided about making the trip back again to Malaysia but I liked the challenge here – I’m comfortable with the courses and the greens. I knew if I could step it up a little it bit and play the way I know I can play, I could win here,” added the Carlisle-native, who plied his trade on the lesser-known MENA Golf Tour in the Gulf last year.

“My goal is to play on the Asian Tour and I’m glad that this win will go a long way towards helping me achieve that goal,” he noted.

Meanwhile Rashid was disappointed that he could not surmount a late challenge to pip Richardson to the title. The 39-year-old was left to rue several costly birdie chances as he marked his card with four bogeys and six birdies for his second runner-up finish at a PGM-ADT sanctioned event this year.

“It was a roller-coaster day for me. There were several birdie chances which I failed to take advantage of and I think that cost me today,” said Rashid. “Richardson played really well all-week and he’s the deserving winner,” added the two-time PGM Tour winner.

The burgeoning domestic tour will travel to Kinrara Golf Club in a fortnight for the RM125,00 I&P Kinrara Classic

Leading final round scores
270 – Peter Richardson (ENG) 67-65-69-69
278 – Md Rashid Ismail 67-70-71-70
279 – Go Nakauchi (JPN) 70-69-72-68
282 – Mitchell Slorach (SIN) 72-69-74-67, Mitsuhiko Hashizume (JPN) 72-70-73-67, Kim Ji-hoon (KOR) 68-71-71-72
283 – Ben Leong 72-72-71-68
284 – R. Nachimuthu 71-69-72-72
286 – Gavin Flint (AUS) 71-69-72-72
287 – Iain Steel 75-73-72-67, Lee Yoo-ho (KOR) 76-72-71-68, Greg Moss (USA) 71-73-73-70, Grant Jackson (ENG) 74-71-69-73