Sungai Petani: Wisut Artjanawat of Thailand holed a crucial birdie on the last to defeat R. Nachimuthu of Malaysia by one shot at the PGM Sime Darby Harvard Championship on Saturday.
Wisut was pushed to the limits by Nachimuthu but the talented Thai sealed the deal with a clutch putt from inside 10-feet for a five-under-par 67 at the RM200,000 (approximately US$60,000) season-opening Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Nachimuthu battled tooth-and-nail for a superb 64 while Chan Shih-chang of Chinese Taipei settled for third following a 68 at the Harvard Golf and Country Club.
Wisut, who won a title in Sabah in January, stayed focus on the task of winning his first ADT title and was not aware by the late challenge from Nachimuthu until the 17th hole where they were squared.
Relying on a hot putter, which was the key to his success, Wisut calmly sank the winning putt as he romped home to an impressive 22-under-par 266 total to win US$10,650 and earn six Official World Golf Ranking points.
“To be honest, I didn’t know about Nachimuthu’s score until I finished the 17th hole. I was very focussed and I just concentrated on playing my own game. I’m so happy that I’ve won,” smiled the 32-year-old Wisut.
Nachimuthu, who would have set a new course record had it not been for the preferred lies, said he was more than happy with how his week went, particularly the final round.
“I struck the ball solidly and putted well too today,” he added. “I thought I might have had a chance for a playoff on the last hole but I missed my birdie putt. Anyway, I’m pleased with giving myself a chance at the end and hopefully will be able to do better at the Kelantan Classic next week.”
Pua explained that a high fever ruined his chances. “I’ve had flu the whole week and last night the fever shot up and this morning I really had a hard time on the course.
“But I am still happy with the way it went because this (fifth place) is my best finish on the PGM Tour and yesterday’s seven-under (65) round is my career low on the Tour.”
Leading final round scores:
266 – Wisut Artjanawat (THA) 69-65-65-67
267 – R. Nachimuthu 69-69-65-64
271 – Chan Shih-Chang (TPE) 69-67-67-68
273 – Nils Floren (SWE) 69-67-69-68
274 – Nicholas Pua 69-67-65-73
275 – Arie Fauzi 70-70-69-66, Malcolm Kokocinski (SWE) 66-72-65-72
277 – S. Sivachandhran (MAS) 69-69-70-69
278 – Danny CHIA (MAS) 70-73-70-65, CHOO Tze Huang (SIN) 71-68-70-69