Kangar: A steady closing display saw Sukree Othman cruise to a confident five-stroke victory at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Perlis Classic on Saturday.
Starting the final round with a three-shot cushion, Sukree birdied the seventh and tenth at Kelab Golf Putra to extend his lead to seven strokes before dropping his only shot of the day with a double bogey on the final hole to end with an even-par 72.
The 36-year-old totalled five-under 283 to clinch his first victory this year and a fifth career title on the burgeoning domestic circuit.
Former national Mohd Iylia Jamil matched Sukree’s effort to settle for second on 288 in the RM150,000 event, one stroke ahead of first round leader Shaifubari Muda, whose forgettable opening nine of four bogeys saw him slip to a three-under 75.
Shaaban Hussin continued his recent run of form, finishing fourth with a two-under 70 for a 290 aggregate while Md Rashid Ismail (70) and Mohd Rizal Amin (75) were two shots back in a tie for fifth.
Delighted with his overall display all week long, Sukree admitted that the victory came timely just before the Tour’s five-week long break in observance of the Muslim fasting month.
“It is a timely win as I’ve endured quite a lean season so far and it is very rewarding to come through after a very tough week of golf,” said Sukree, who was the only player to finish below par.
“We have a long break coming up and putting my name on the winner’s list was important for me mentally. By this stage last year, I had won three times but it was just not happening. So, it’s good to carry forward this winning confidence into the business end when we get back after Ramadhan,” he noted, adding that he had successfully put a new putter (TaylorMade Daddy Long Legs) into play this week and scrambled up to mark when required.
Sukree accepted that adapting his game plan to the treacherous conditions proved pivotal in sealing the win. “The wind was really the challenge this week and I think I adapted better than the rest, which I why I was able to pull ahead of the contenders.
“Like even today on the final hole, I lost a bit of focus, misjudged the wind and ended up dropping a double bogey, which could have proved costly in another tournament. So the winning margin does not really reflect the fact that it was a hard-earned victory.”
Leading final round scores
283 – Sukree Othman 68-73-70-72
288 – Mohd Iylia Jamil 73-73-70-72
289 – Shaifubari Muda 67-75-72-75
290 – Shaaban Hussin 68-79-73-70
292 – Md Rashid Ismail 73-76-73-70, Mohd Rizal Amin 73-69-75-75
293 – Kemarol Baharin 72-73-75-73, R. Nachimuthu 72-75-73-73, Airil Rizman Zahari 76-74-69-74
294 – Kenneth De Silva 74-78-72-70, S. Murthy 70-76-74-74