Pekan [PAHANG]: Kemarol Baharin overturned a four-shot deficit to secure his first Tour win in over three years at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Pahang Championship on Saturday.
A closing effort of four-under 68 saw Kemarol sign for a 12-under 276 total to leave Sasidaran Muthiah (67) and third round leader Sukree Othman (73) to settle for second place in the RM200,000 tournament.
In one of the closest finishes on the burgeoning domestic circuit for some time now, Kemarol mixed three birdies with a bogey either side of the turn to clinch a nail-biting finish at the Royal Pekan Golf Club.
The lead changed hands several times between the trio with Sukree scrambling hard to hold onto his advantage and Sasidaran making a final round charge with six birdies through 14 holes.
But two straight birdies by Kemarol at hole 16 and 17 holes ensured him victory – with the luxury of a bogey at the last.
“It was mighty close and really anything could have happened. I had nothing to lose [trailing by four shots] and gave it a good shot. Sukree’s game was a little out-of-sorts and I took advantage and a few lucky breaks mattered. The margin for error was small but fortunately, the bogey at the last didn’t cost me,” noted the 33-year-old.
Kemarol’s last tasted victory at the UMW Impian Championship in 2015 and his fourth PGM Tour crown could not have come sooner.
“I have come close on a few occasions since but never managed to capitalise on the chances. Today, I felt like I seized the initiative. I’m hoping to spend some of my winnings on updating my equipment and hopefully, find a run of form,” he added.
LEADING FINAL RESULTS (PAR-72)
276 – Kemarol Baharin 72-66-70-68
277 – Sasidaran Muthiah 70-69-71-67, Sukree Othman 68-68-68-73
280 – Sivachandhran Supramaniam 70-68-73-69
283 – Shahriffuddin Ariffin 72-74-73-64, Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz 68-70-72-73
284 -Nachimuthu Ramasamy 67-72-73-72, Airil Rizman Zahari 72-69-70-73