Nachimuthu prevails in Port Dickson

Edward Saminathan|The ClubHouse
Champions Nachimuthu (right) with Aretha

Port Dickson [NEGERI SEMBILAN]: Nachimuthu Ramasamy defeated Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz in a play-off to complete a successful title defence at the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Port Dickson Championship on Saturday.

A blemish-free card of six birdies saw the 48-year-old reel in overnight leader Daeng and set the clubhouse target at 13-under-par.

Staked to a three-shot overnight lead, Daeng looked poised to better that mark and claim his second win of the season.

But an unlikely bogey on the 16th derailed the Johorean’s solid game plan and he finished with a 70 to settle for a place in the play-off.

In the end, Nachimuthu had the luxury of two putts to prevail at Port Dickson Golf & Country Club after his younger rival drove into a penalty area, resulting in a lost ball.

Wafiyuddin Abdul Manaf was three strokes back in third – a closing 69 seeing the Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) professional finish a shot clear of Kemarol Baharin (70) on ten-under 278.

Nachimuthu credited his strong iron play for his performance, which saw him capture his 12th victory on the domestic circuit.

“I was very much in the mix to defend my title here this week and really satisfied to get the job done. I gave myself a lot of scoring opportunities in the final round and I knew I could chase down the leader. Experience always comes handy and, in a play-off, you have to take your chances,” noted a delighted Nachimuthu.

“It was hard to negotiate the greens this week, so precise iron play was crucial and I strategized my game plan around it.”

Despite missing out on his fourth win on Tour, Daeng was counting the positives of a third top-five placing in 2019, in what is shaping up to be his best season yet.

“Two bad shots today and it pretty much sums up my final round. Of course, you feel disappointed but I’m happy with my game at the moment and the results are there to see. It has been a solid start to the year and I hope to remain pain-free and keep contending,” added the 20-year-old.

In the women’s division, Sabahan Aretha Pan Herng strung together four consistent rounds to coast to a four-shot victory over Ainil Johani Abu Bakar.

A seven-under total over the weekend helped the xx-year-old to a 12-under-par overall and her first win of 2019.

“My iron play was solid all week and I converted some crazy putts during the third round to give myself a comfortable cushion. The final round was little more uneventful but I just nursed my lead. Trying to gain some confidence ahead of a couple of tournaments in Chinese Taipei and China, so the win is timely,” she noted.

Michelle Koh was a distant third on 290.

275 – Nachimuthu Ramasamy 69-68-72-66, Daeng Abdul Rahman Abdul Aziz 67-67-71-70
Nachimuthu wins with a par on the first play-off hole
278 – Wafiyuddin Abdul Manaf 74-65-70-69
279 – Kemarol Baharin 72-70-67-70
281 – Airil Rizman Zahari 66-73-72-70
283 – Nazri Mohd Zain 72-72-70-69, Shahriffuddin Ariffin 71-70-71-71, Akhmal Tarmizee Nazari 70-71-71-71, Iylia Jamil 72-69-70-72
284 – Sasidaran Muthiah 72-66-75-71, Brandon Lai 68-72-72-72

276 – Aretha Pan Herng 67-72-67-70
280 – Ainil Johani Abu Bakar 66-70-73-71
290 – Michelle Koh 72-71-73-74
295 – Noraishah Alisa Che Omar 73-74-74-74
296 – Genevieve Ling I-Rynn 73-72-74-77
297 – Nur Durriyah Damian 73-75-75-74
298 – Norezrina Alisa Che Omar 75-75-77-71
305 – Norshahira Alisa Che Omar 77-75-77-76
306 – Qistina Balqis Azhar 76-75-77-78