Palembang high for Fung

Nicholas Fung ©Erlangga Tribuana/WSG

Palembang:  In-form Nicholas Fung exacted a sweet revenge on Gunn Charoenkul of Thailand to clinch his first ASEAN PGA Tour victory in two years at the US$120,000 Palembang MUSI Championship on Saturday.

Fung, who had  lost to his Thai opponent in a sudden-death play-off  at the Singha Esan Open in August, fired a superb eagle on the 14th for a closing 68 to finish two strokes ahead of Gunn (70) at the Palembang Golf Club.

It was the 21-year-old Sabahan’s second victory in a week, coming on the back of his domestic title win in Seremban last Saturday. Fung claimed a cheque for US$24,050, to move to the top of the Merit list and all but confirmed his starting berth at the Barclays Singapore Open in a fortnight.

Filipino veteran Antonio Lascuna from the Philippines was two shots adrift in third place with a round of 66 while  George Gandranata (69) finished as the leading Indonesian in fourth on 11-under-par 277.

Indonesia’s Andik Mauluddin, Mardan Mamat from Singapore as well as Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan and Varut Chomchalam were tied for fifth.

Fung was two shots behind playing partner Gunn at the turn but stormed ahead with a birdie on 11th and an eagle on the 14th as Gunn dropped a shot on the 13th to see the title slip away.

“This is fantastic. Gunn has been playing so well so it gives me a lot of confidence. I am delighted because I have been able to snap by winless-streak with back-to-back victories,” said Fung, who had six runner-up finishes to show in 2012 before his win at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Negeri Sembilan Classic on October 20.

He won the 2010 Mercedes-Benz Masters Vietnam in his rookie year and finished runner-up on four occasions including in last year’s Palembang MUSI Championship.

Gunn admitted that the rain midway through the round threw a spanner into his plans. “It was raining for a few holes on the back nine and that really put me off. I am not used to it. It was my first time playing in rain in a tournament. I am not too disappointed as I get to play in the Singapore Open.”

Leading final round scores
270 – Nicholas Fung 68-68-66-68
272 – Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 65-70-67-70
274 – Antonio Lascuna (PHI) 69-69-70-66
277 – George Gandranata (INA) 67-74-67-69
279 – Andik Mauluddin (INA) 69-70-74-66, Mardan Mamat (SIN 72-70-69-68, Rattano Wannasrichan (THA) 71-72-66-70, Varut Chomchalam (THA) 72-69-67-71
281 – Andi Yatmo (INA) 70-71-72-68 ; Wisut Artjanawat (THA) 71-67-72-71