Rawang [SELANGOR]: Shahriffuddin Ariffin believes a victory on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) is within reach after claiming his maiden podium finish at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) MIDF Championship on Saturday.
The rising professional marked his best round of the week with a seven-birdie round of 66 to finish four shots behind champion Kasidit Lepkurte of Thailand in the RM250,000 event.
An eight-under 280 overall saw the 18-year-old youngster grab a share of third alongside Thailand’s Nattawat Suvajanakorn and South African Mathiam Keyser, who returned with matching 69s at the pristine Templer Park Country Club.
“My previous best was fifth placing at the UMW Championship earlier this year, so to get a top-three finish on the ADT surely feels good. It means my game is on the right track and I’m confident that I can taste success on this level soon,” shared Shariffuddin, whose season has gone from strength to strength since lifting his maiden domestic title at the Tiara Melaka Championship in August.
Kasidit maintained his composure to close with a two-under-par 70 for his breakthrough ADT victory.
Holding a three-shot lead heading into the final round, the 26-year-old traded three birdies against one bogey to win by three shots from compatriot Pannakorn Uthaipas on 12-under-par 276.
“I never really felt the pressure as at the back of my mind, I knew I have a three-shot cushion at the start of the round,” said a jubilant Kasidit, who joined the play-for-pay ranks in 2015 and has enjoyed a top-10 finish last month.
“But it was after the birdie on the ninth when I felt really confident about winning the tournament.”
Leading final results (Par-72)
276 – Kasidit Lepkurte (THA) 69-70-67-70
279 – Pannakorn Uthaipas (THA) 68-68-73-70
280 – SHARIFFUDDIN ARIFFIN 74-71-69-66, Nattawat Suvajanakorn (THA) 73-67-71-69, Mathiam Keyser (RSA) 76-69-66-69
281 – Seungjae Maeng (USA) 70-70-74-67
282 – Janne Kaske (FIN) 76-67-70-69, AMIR NAZRIN JAILANI 74-69-67-72
283 – ABEL TAM 74-70-70-69
285 – James Byrne (SCO) 72-70-72-71
286 – Nirun Sae-ueng (THA) 73-71-71-71, MUHD WAFIYUDDIN ABDUL MANAF 72-70-71-73
Final Results – Ladies
289 – Ainil Johani Abu Bakar 78-69-70-72
294 – Dianne Luke 70-76-77-71