Gunn on target at Ayer Keroh

Gunn Charoenkul ©Arep Kulal|PGM
Gunn Charoenkul ©Arep Kulal|PGM

Ayer Keroh (MELAKA): Gunn Charoenkul cruised to victory in the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) ASEAN PGA Melaka Championship on Saturday – consolidating his lead on the ASEAN PGA’s Road to Sabah Masters.

The rising Thai star returned with a two-under 70 to claim his second victory this season on the regional circuit, three shots clear of local Iylia Jamil (71), who took outright second at Ayer Keroh Country Club.

Joint overnight leader Mohd Sukree Othman slumped to a four-over 76 to settle for a share of sixth alongside Thailand’s Pipatpong Naewsuk and national number one Nicholas Fung, who was defending the title he won last year. Fung and Pipatpong ended their campaigns with matching 72s.

Gunn, who led after the first round following an outstanding 67, pulled away from the field early with back-to-back birdies on the fifth and sixth holes. He dropped a shot at the eighth yet still held a two-stroke advantage at the turn.

He picked up another shot at the 10th before giving it straight back on the next hole but a birdie on the 15th ensured a relatively stress-free closing stretch as he finished on seven-under-par 281.

The 22-year-old Bangkok lad picked up the winner’s share of RM29,800 (US$9,031) – taking his earnings for the season on the ASEAN PGA Tour to US$25,280 after just three events.

“This is the first time that I have won as a professional outside Thailand, so it means a lot to me and is very special,” said Charoenkul.

Leading final round scores (Malaysian unless stated):
281 – Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 67-74-70-70
284 – Iylia Jamil 70–69 -74-71
285 – Airil Rizman Zahari 70-70-73-72
286 – Sutijet Kooratanapisan (THA) 72–71–73-70, Lam Yu Shuen 71-69-74-72
287 – Nicholas Fung 70–73- 72-72, Pipatpong Naewsuk (THA) 74–71–70-72, Mohd Sukree Othman 71-70-70-76
288 – Kemarol Baharin 76-68-73-71, Hans Jamil 70–74-71-73, M.Sasidaran 72–73-70-73, Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 71-70-72-75, Pravee Visalkit (THA) – 70-72-70-76, 289 – Tony Lam 75-73-73-68, Kenneth De Silva 76-70-70-73