Malaysia end campaign on disappointing note

Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz ©Mike Casper|TCH - filepic

Incheon [KOREA]: Tough pin positions and single-digit temperatures made for a difficult final round for the Malaysian trio at the Asia- Pacific Amateur Championship on Sunday.

Malaysian Games (SUKMA) gold medallist Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz ended the eighth edition of the region’s elite amateur gathering as the best-placed Malaysian in the 118-player field.

He returned with his second consecutive 77 for a four-day total of 15-over 303, sharing 42nd placing with the Indian pair of Rigel Fernandes and Kshitij Naveed Kaul at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club.

Current national number one Chan Tuck Soon bounced back from his dismal performance overnight, carding a polished even-par 72 to settle for a joint 49th on 18-over 306.

Debutant Danial Durisic – the other domestic challenger to make the weekend action – stumbled upon one watery trouble after another to record a disappointing 84 for a 310 aggregate, tying for 54th.

Daeng admitted that while he was pleased to improve on the joint 62nd placing on his debut in Hong Kong last year, he could have better managed his game in the conditions.

“I’ll take the positives from this week. I played to the best of my ability in this difficult conditions but I could have avoided a couple of costly misjudgements that compromised my overall score. It was important to adapt to the unpredictable winds and I struggled a bit on that aspect.

“I wasn’t feeling a 100% throughout the week and [the cold] threw me off rhythm, especially on my approach shots. I didn’t give myself enough scoring chances and scrambled for all four rounds. Today, with the mercury dropping, my hands were completely numb!” said Daeng.

Leading final results (Par-72)
276 – Curtis Luck (AUS) 70-69-70-67
277 – Brett Coletta (AUS) 67-67-68-75
279 – Luke Toomey (NZL) 71-72-70-66
281 – Cameron Davis (AUS) 65-70-69-77
283 – Junya Kameshiro (JPN) 68-69-71-75
284 – Yu Chun-An (TPE) 71-71-73-69
285 – KK Limbhasut (THA) 68-71-73-73
288 – Lee Won Jun (KOR) 73-69-73-73
289 – Yuan Yechun (CHN) 73-72-74-70
290 – Kazuki Higa (JPN) 75-70-67-78

How the Malaysians fared
303 – Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz 74-75-77-77
306 – Chan Tuck Soon 72-77-85-72
310 – Danial Durisic 74-74-78-84

Runner-up Brett Coletta (left) and Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship winner Curtis Luck ©AAC
Runner-up Brett Coletta (left) and Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship winner Curtis Luck ©AAC

Meanwhile at the top of the leaderboard, Australian Curtis Luck overcame a seven-stroke deficit to secure a one-shot victory over compatriot Brett Coletta.

Luck, who has already earned berths in The Masters Tournament, the US Open and the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale next year by virtue of winning the 2016 US Amateur Championship in August, carded a bogey-free 67 to finish on 12-under-par 276.

Coletta, the third-round leader, had a chance to force a playoff on 18th but missed a 14-foot birdie try.

The Royal Wellington Golf Club in New Zealand will host the 2017 edition from October 26-29 next year.