Kangar (PERLIS): An in-form Airil Rizman Zahari cruised to his second Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Perlis Championship title in two years on Saturday with a five-stroke victory over Mohd Rizal Amin on Saturday.
The win, worth RM27,200, was a gradual rise to the top spot for Airil , who went three-two-one in his last three tournaments, having finished third at the Melaka Championship and runner-up at the Vascory Templer Park Championship in previous weeks.
Starting the final round with a two-stroke cushion, the local boy shot a two-under 69 that gave him a six-under 282 total overall and his fourth PGM Tour crown.
Rizal continued to push his case, moving up into sole second with a 69 of his own to finish two clear of a trio comprising of Order of Merit leader Nachimuthu (72), Wilson Choo (73) and Ben Leong (74).
Twenty-one year-old Abel Tam, who led the RM170,000 event over the first two days, carded a 75 and finished sixth on 290.
Happy with his fine run of form, Airil said he was looking forward to the mid-season break that will be marked with the month of Ramadan.
“The timing has been perfect,” he said. “I had a third and second-place finishes before winning today, and as this is the start of the month-long break of the Tour, it is just excellent. I have really played well over the past few events and for it to be highlighted today is great with the victory.
“I hit the ball well during this good run and hope it continues through to the end of the season, which will be marked with five-months of tough tournaments when we return to action after Aidilfitri” added Airil, crediting his recent change of equipment over the past couple of months as one of the root of his recent run.
For his part, runner-up Rizal said he too was pleased with his week’s work in Kangar. “I had a third-place finish at Impian (Championship) earlier this season, which equalled my best on the Tour, so to get a second place here is really very nice.”
“But that is not the end hopefully. I feel I have the game now to go on and win, so maybe the breakthrough will come sooner rather than later,” said the 30-year-old Kedahan.
Leading Final Scores
282 – Airil Rizman Zahari 71-71-71-69
287 – Mohd Rizal Amin 70-75-73-69
289 – R. Nachimuthu 73-70-74-72, Wilson Choo 70-74-72-73, Ben Leong 74-68-73-74
290 – Abel Tam 69-72-74-75
292 – Jeremiah Kim Leun Kwang 70-73-74-75
294 – Akhmal Tarmizee Nazari 75-71-76-72
295 – Lam Yu Shuen 76-73-73-73, M. Sasidaran 74-70-77-74
299 – Shaifubari Muda 78-72-76-73, S. Murthy 76-74-73-76