Senai [JOHOR]: Pannakorn Uthaipas of Thailand overcame a four-shot deficit to win his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) ADT Johor Championship on Saturday.
The 28-year-old Pannakorn had a terrible start as he dropped a shot on the second hole, which distanced him and the overnight leader, Poom Pattaropong of Thailand, to six shots.
However, the bogey sharpened Pannakorn’s resolve and he began to attack the pin at the Palm Resort Golf and Country Club.
The strategy worked, as he shot an eagle and five birdies before signing for a 20-under-
par 268 total to win the tournament by two shots.
Poom was not able to get his final round going. The three birdies he made were negated by the equal number of bogeys. He had to contend with a tied-second finish along with Japan’s Kazuki Higa.
Higa, on the other hand, was making a charge at the leaders. The one-time ADT winner shot eight birdies and did not drop a single shot on his first 16 holes. However, his tournament unravelled after making a bogey on the 17th.
Local boy Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz also made a sprint to the finish. He traded an eagle and five birdies against a lone bogey to a card six-under-par 30 on his back-nine, which helped him climb to a share of fourth.
LEADING FINAL RESULTS (Par-72)
268 – Pannakorn Uthaipas (THA) 63-67-72-66
270 – Kazuki Higa (JPN) 68-69-68-65, Poom Pattaropong (THA) 64-67-67-72
272 – DAENG ABDUL RAHMAN ABD AZIZ 68-72-67-65, Joohyung Kim (KOR) 64-72-70-66
273 – Lloyd Jefferson Go (PHI) 66-66-71-70
274 – Trevor Simsby (USA) 68-67-71-68, Genki Okada (JPN) 67-69-68-70
275 – Miguel Carballo (ARG)70-68-71-66, Ryuichi Oiwa (JPN) 69-71-67-68
277 – DANNY CHIA 67-69-75-66, Johnson Poh (SGP) 67-72-71-67
On the victory, Pannakorn said: “The birdie on eight was significant. I missed the green at the par-three hole by about 30 yards, but I managed to chip it in. After that, I was feeling even more confident.”
“I was only focussing on my game. I played very well in the first two rounds and I know that my game is in a good place,” he said, on playing with his friend Poom, who had a four-shot lead at the start of the day.
“It was a good fight with Poom today. I’m sure he will be a champion in the near future.”
With this win, Pannakorn is now aiming to win the ADT Order of Merit for the second time. Previously, he won topped the money list in 2017.
The merit champion, as well as the leading six players on the final ADT Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.