Gillis survives play-off for MIDF Championship

Champion Sam Gillis ©PGM Tour

Nilai [NEGERI SEMBILAN]: American Sam Gillis secured his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title when he prevailed in a play-off at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) MIDF Championship on October 20.

Gillis staged a remarkable comeback when he traded six birdies against two bogeys to card a four-under-par 68 and force a play-off against third round leader Itthipat Buranatanyarat of Thailand, who returned with a 70 at the RM225,000 event.

The 23-year-old ADT rookie went head to head with Itthipat after the duo finished on a 14-under-par 274 total at the end of regulation play. Gillis eventually earned the victory on the third play-off hole.

The play-off was held on the par-four 18th hole at the Kota Seriemas Golf and Country Club where the pair would halve the first two extra holes before Gillis triumphed with a birdie on the third extra hole while Itthipat settled for par to take second place.

“It feels so great to finally win after coming so close a couple of times this season. It is my first professional win so it’s a special one for me.

“On the third extra hole I decided to just play it safe and hit an iron off the tee to keep my ball on the fairway. It worked out well because I hit a good approach to the green and was able to make birdie from there,” added Gillis.

The American started the day with a two-shot deficit, but he rallied back by firing birdies on holes two and seven before dropping his first shot on the ninth to turn in 35.

He grabbed three more birdies and dropped a shot on hole 17 but would chip-in for birdie on the last for an inward 33.

“I knew it was going to be close on the last three holes and when it came down to the last hole, I knew I had to chip it in. Itthipat’s second shot was off the green as well and I just chipped it exactly how I wanted to hit the shot and executed it perfectly,” said Gillis.

The domestic women’s competition saw Michelle Koh earn her first win of the 2018 season after coasting to a five-shot win over Aretha Pan Herng.

274 – Itthipat Buranatanyarat (THA) 67-66-71-70, Sam Gillis (USA) 68-70-68-68
Gillis wins with a birdie on the third play-off hole
278 – Donlaphatchai Niyomchon (THA) 67-71-73-67
280 – Naoki Sekito (JPN) 69-70-72-69, Abdul Hadi Uda Thith (SGP) 72-65-73-70, Justin De La Santos (USA) 73-68-74-65, Poom Pattaropong (THA) 70-69-70-71
281 – Pisitchai Thippong (THA) 68-71-73-69

282 – Mathiam Keyser (RSA) 73-69-70-70, RIZAL AMIN 74-70-69-69
284 – Mathew Killen (ENG) 69-73-71-71, Johnson Poh (SGP) 73-72-71-68, Marcus Both (AUS) 75-70-68-71, Miguel Carballo (ARG) 72-70-72-70, Josh Salah (USA) 73-70-72-69

293 – Michelle Koh 72-71-76-74
298 – Aretha Pan 71-73-80-73
300 – Nur Durriyah Damian 75-72-79-74
302 – Genevieve Ling I-Rynn 76-74-77-75
310 – Noraishah Che Omar (A) 78-73-85-74