Salah seals dramatic win in Rahman Putra

Josh Salah flanked by PGM chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid and CCM Berhad chief executive Leonard Ariff Abdul Shatar ©Arep Kulal|PGM Tour

Sungai Buloh [SELANGOR]: American Josh Salah claimed a hard earned victory at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) CCM Rahman Putra Championship after shooting a six-under-par 66 on Saturday.

The 24-year-old won by a mere stroke from Shunya Takeyasu (70) of Japan – thanks to two closing birdies – finishing on 17-under-par 271 at Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia.

Jordan Sherratt of Australia settled for third place after returning with a 71 for a 274 total while Soonsang Hong of Korea finished a further shot back in fourth position following a 69  at the RM200,000 (approximately US$46,600) Asian Development Tour (ADT) co-sanctioned event.

Salah stayed patient despite numerous weather delays during the week and was rewarded with his first ADT title after completing 26 holes on the final day.

Leading final results (Par-72) >
271 – Josh Salah (USA) 69-65-71-66
272 – Shunya Takeyasu (JPN) 66-66-70-70
274 – Jordan Sheratt (AUS) 66-68-69-71
275 – Soonsang Hong (KOR) 68-70-68-69
276 – Riley Fleming (CAN) 70- 68-63-75, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA)70-68-70-68
276 – Dodge Kemmer (USA) 63-67-72-74
277 – Jay Bayron (PHI) 72-68-69-68, Gavin Fiarfax (AUS) 70-70-68-69, Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 69-71-72-65, Sutijet Kooratanapisan (THA) 66-71-73-67
278 – Nitithorn Thippong (THA) 68-71-69-70, George Gandranata (INA) 67-69-68-74, Hans Jamil 68-67-70-73

Trailing by four shots after the penultimate round, the American birdied the third hole before a bogey on the next hole ignited his title charge as he registered six birdies to cross the finishing line in style.

“I got off to a slow start. I bogeyed the fourth hole and it was the best thing that could have happened to me because it made me focus more. It made me stay committed to my targets. I was disappointed with the bogey from the middle of the fairway. From there, I knew I had to stay focus and not get ahead of myself,” said Salah.

Playing in his second season on the ADT, Salah was delighted to secure the win after missing the grade at Qualifying School in Thailand two weeks ago. The victory came with a prize purse of US$8,192, which pushed him to third place on the ADT Order of Merit.

“Last year I struggled a little bit but as the year got on, I felt more comfortable. I played week after week and felt that I was good enough and that I belonged here. I was disappointed with the Qualifying School but I knew I had what it takes to win out here. I couldn’t have done it without last year’s experience on the ADT,” said Salah.