SINGAPORE: National junior Zubair Firdaus notched another feather to his cap as he captured the boys’ title at the inaugural Asia-Pacific Junior Amateur in Singapore on Friday.
The 16-year-old survived a final day charge by Denwit Boriboonsub of Thailand to prevail by one stroke at the Laguna National Golf & Country Club’s Masters Course.
Zubair, who carded rounds of 74, 69 and 73 for an even-par overall, was delighted to return to winning ways after last tasting victory 11 months ago at the Queensland Boys Amateur in Australia.
“This is my first win this year, and it was an unforgettable experience because I played some great golf all week,” said the Queensland-based Zubair.
HOW THE MALAYSIANS FARED
216 – Zubair Firdaus 74-69-73 (CHAMPION)
236 – Nor Harith Nor Hadi 77-77-82 (T15)
229 – Zulaikah Nurziana Nasser 79-78-72 (9th)
232 – Foong Zi Yu 77-75-80 (11th)
247 – Maisarah Hezri 81-87-79 (T19)
252 – Charlayne Chong Shin Ling 80-94-78 (22nd)
Staked to a three-shot advantage coming into the final round, Zubair saw his lead dissipate at the turn and was level with Denwit after a series of bogeys on the front nine.
However, the Thai slipped up and made bogeys on holes 16 and 17 to hand a one-stroke lead to Zubair, who converted a regulation par putt on the last hole to win the tournament.
“The final round was a real challenge because I had to withstood a surge from Denwit. Fortunately, I was able to reverse a one-shot deficit with three holes to play and win the tournament.
Winning the tournament comes with its own set of perks as Zubair will receive invitations to two Asian Development Tour events as well as the Southern California Junior Amateur and the Pacific Coast Amateur.
He will also headline an Asia-Pacific selection in a Ryder Cup-styled event against the Southern California Golf Association, which will be played in Los Angeles later this year.
In the girls’ contest, Joo Ri Jeong clinched her victory dominantly. She shot rounds of 67, 74 69 to finish seven shots clear of fellow Korean Ahreum Park.
A total of six Malaysians featured in the 76-player field, which drew participants from 14 Asia-Pacific countries.