Chiam tames Cobra for Saujana title

Chiam receives the trophy from Multi-Purpose Insurans Bhd chairman Tan Sri Dato' Dr Yahya Awang (left) and Saujana Resort (M) Bhd director Dato' Abu Bakar Mohd Nor (right) ©TCH
Chiam receives the trophy from Multi-Purpose Insurans Bhd chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Yahya Awang (left) and Saujana Resort (M) Bhd director Dato’ Abu Bakar Mohd Nor (right) ©TCH

Subang: Singapore’s Nicklaus Chiam powered his way to a four-stroke victory at the 26th MPI-Saujana Amateur Championship as the Australian challenge fizzled out on Thursday.

The 17-year-old, who trailed overnight leader Taylor Macdonald by one stroke coming into the day, clinched the prestigious title with an impressive two-under 70 for a two-under 214 overall on the challenging Palm Course of Saujana Golf & Country Club.

After a final round slip had cost him the title at the Malaysian Amateur Open on Sunday, Macdonald was left cursing his luck once again as a closing three-over 75 saw the Queenslander settle for a share of second alongside compatriot Christopher Robert Brown (73).

Edgar Oh (73) took sole possession of fourth on 225 to cap a strong performance by the Singaporean contingent as fellow Lion Jerome Ng (77) finished a further shot back alongside Chinese Taipei’s Sung-i Yu (77) on 226.

After a mix start to his round, with birdies either side of a bogey on second, Chiam stormed away with a superb eagle on the 13th, when he drained a 30-footer from the apron after reaching the green in two before dropping a bogey on the last.

“I just played my usual game and tried to focus on my own routines instead of what Taylor [Macdonald] was doing. The wind picked up a lot today and the pins was a little different from the opening two rounds but I guess my putting was up to it,” said Chiam.

“Despite taking the lead, I was trying really hard to post a low number, so I pushed myself all the way to the end. It was difficult to stay focused in the searing heat but I drank a lot of fluids to keep myself hydrated and my fellow team mates and officials played a huge part in urging me on over the last few holes,” added the 2011 Malacca Amateur Open champion.

Muhammad Afif Mohd Razif was the best placed Malaysian in joint 14th with a 233 overall, ahead of national back-up players Ervin Chang (237) and Bryan Teoh Wiyang (239).

Six-handicapper Faiz Khalid of Saujana Golf & Country Club claimed the nett division with a three-day score of 220.

Leading final round scores
214 – Nicklaus Chiam (SIN) 72-72-70
218 – Christopher Robert Brown (AUS) 72-73-73, Taylor Macdonald (AUS) 74-69-75
225 – Edgar Oh (SIN) 76-76-73
226 – Jerome Ng (SIN) 77-72-77, Sean Sung-I Yu (TPE) 72-77-77
227 – Chieh Po-Lee (TPE) 78-73-76
229 – Syukrizal (INA) 79-76-74
230 – Marc Ong (SIN) 74-80-76, Andrew Hans (USA) 78-75-77, Abdul Hadi (SIN) 72-77-81