Bowen steers clear for Harvard win

James Bowen © ArepKulal/PGM
James Bowen © ArepKulal/PGM

Sungai Petani: James Bowen of the United States savoured a memorable week when he closed with a one-under-par 71 to claim his Asian Development Tour (ADT) breakthrough at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Sime Darby Harvard Masters on Saturday.

Victory, which came courtesy of his four-day total of 18-under-par 270, was especially sweet for Bowen as he had earlier suffered the agony of missing the cut at the Asian Tour Qualifying School Final Stage last month.

It was a four-way tie for second place after Thailand’s Wasin Sripattranusorn, Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Jakraphan Premsirigorn and Canada’s Lindsay Renolds closed their campaigns with matching 274s at the RM200,000 (approximately US$65,000) ADT event which was staged at the Harvard Golf and Country Club.

Defending champion Shaifubari Muda stumbled after co-leading the tournament on the first day but finished as the best placed Malaysian with a 11-under 277 total.

Bowen has been in commanding form all week. Since taking over the lead after the second round, the American was a figure of consistency as he was determined to erase the heartbreak of last month where he slipped up and lost his chance to earn his Tour card on the region’s premier Tour.

“This is my first professional win since I turned pro in 2008. It’s definitely a great confidence builder and made up for my disappointment of missing out on my Asian Tour card at Qualifying School,” said Bowen.

“I have a chance of playing my way into the Asian Tour again and I’m looking forward to more wins on the ADT,” said the American.

Bowen’s final day’s score card was marked by three birdies and two bogeys. It was however his second round performance that gave the American the most satisfaction.

“The turning point this week was my second round. I played really well then. My only mistake was a double-bogey on the fourth hole but apart from that, I was on fire. That helped my confidence a lot and started the momentum for me,” said Bowen.

Despite missing out on his win, Wasin remained optimistic that he can lift his maiden title, judging from his performances this week. “I played well all-week but if I’ve to put down one mistake on the final day, it would be my putting. It was not very good today. But overall I’ve no complaints and if I continue playing this way, I’ll be able to win one day,” said Wasin.

Leading final round scores
270 – James Bowen (USA) 66-65-68-71
274 – Wasin Sripattranusorn (THA) 70-68-68-68, Lindsay Renolds (CAN) 65-70-69-70, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 68-63-72-71, Jakraphan Premsirigorn (THA) 71-64-66-73
276 Malcolm Kokocinski (SWE) 70-69-68-, Ratchapol Jantavara (THA) 69-69-66-72
277 Shaifubari Muda 65-73-70-69
278 Grant Jackson (ENG) 68-71-72-67, Wolmer Murillo (VEN) 71-70-70-67, Darren Tan (AUS) 73-70-66-69, S. Sivachandhran 69-66-71-72