Choo rolls to victory in Lanjut

Wilson Choo pose with the trophy after winning the PGM Pahang Classic ©Arep Kulal/PGM
Wilson Choo poses with the trophy after winning the PGM Pahang Classic ©Arep Kulal/PGM

Rompin: Wilson Choo picked up his biggest result in over a year after winning  the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Pahang Classic at Lanjut Golden Beach & Golf Resort on Sunday.

The 24-year-old lad overcame a error-strewn start to wrap up his first victory on the burgeoning domestic circuit with a closing one-under 71 for a 14-under-par 274 total, easing to a three-shot victory over titleholder Airil Rizman Zahari.

Airil rode on a hot putter as he drained five birdies through ten holes but a bogey on 17th saw him settle for a final round four-under 68 in the RM150,000 event.

M. Sasidaran (68) was third on nine-under 279, ahead of Iylia Jamil (69) while R. Nachimuthu (69) and Shaifubari Muda (69) took a share of fifth at seven-under-par.

Enjoying a six-stroke headstart, Choo started with three bogeys over the first four holes, with a birdie thrown in at the second.

“I started out a bit nervous but after I settled down I managed to get the ball close enough to make a few birdies. The cushion definitely helped as Airil went on a roll of birdies at the turn,” he said, describing his winner’s share of RM25,200 as “absolutely amazing”.

Choo noted that his career low round of eight-under 64 at the halfway point turned the tide in his favour and credited his putting for his success.

“Over the four days, I hit the ball solidly and my short-game was in fine touch,” he said. “But my putting really made it happen for me. I putted the best at this tournament than at any other time since I turned pro four years ago,” added Choo, who had previously won the PGAM Clearwater Classic in 2012.

“I had to pull my own trolley after my caddie bailed on me during the second round but I did not allow it to get to me. Same thing when I dropped that early shots today. I’ve been working on my mental routines with my coaches Tony Maloney and Kenneth Khong and that has really galvanised my entire game.”

Leading final round scores:
274 – Wilson Choo 72-64-67-71
277 – Airil Rizman Zahari 71-68-70-68
279 – M. Sasidaran 70-69-72-68
280 – Iylia Jamil 66-72-73-69
281 – R. Nachimuthu 70-71-71-69, Shaifubari Muda 69-70-73-69
283 – S. Sivachandhran 72-68-71-72
284 – Kenneth De Silva 72-70-72-70
285 – Lim Eng Seng 70-72-73-70, Keegan Kam 71-73-69-72