Sizzling Kevin triumphs again at RSGC

Indonesia's Kevin Caesario Akbar and Samantha Martirez of Philippines with the RSGC-AmBank Junior Amateur crowns

KUALA LUMPUR: Kevin Caesario Akbar fired a brilliant closing effort of two-under 70 to complete a successful title defence at The Royal Selangor Golf Club (RSGC)-AmBank Junior Amateur Open on Thursday.

The Indonesian amateur, who led by four shots overnight, was in a class of his own as he finished nine strokes clear of his closest challenger to top the boys’ division with a three-day total of even-par 216.

Adam Arif Madzri from Kelab Golf Negara Subang (KGNS) was second on 225 with Danial Durisic a further three strokes adrift in third.

“It’s not easy defending a championship but I put that pressure aside and just focused on the competition. I played really well from the opening round and that kept me in control. With a strong lead, I was very relaxed today and was rewarded with some good birdies, which allowed me to improve my winning total by a stroke compared to last year,” said Akbar, who is Indonesia’s third-ranked amateur.

The girls’ category, on the otherhand, was tightly contested with three players – Samatha Martirez of the Philippines as well as Malaysia’s Kelie Kan Kah Yan and Warda Amira Rawof finishing the 54-hole contest in a tie on seven-over 223.

Martirez’s steady concentration paid dividends as she parred the first extra hole to clinch the title on a scorching day at the RSGC.

“I am pleased to win because I was really lucky to make the putt as the hole was quite far. I expected to put the ball closer to the hole but it went in. This is my second tournament win in weeks as I won an Open tournament in Philippines two weeks ago,” said Martirez, who is third Filipina to win the girls’ title, following in the footsteps of Abegail Arevalo (2015) and Princess Mary Superal (2014).

Leading final round results (Par-72)
Boys’ Division (18 and Under)
216 – Kevin Caesario Akbar (INA) 72-74-70
225 – Adam Arif Madzri 75-76-74
228 – Danial Durisic 79-73-76, Lim Beng Keat 76-74-78
231 – Suzairi Iqmah Rahim 73-81-77
232 – Nicholas Mok Chee Yong (SIN) 82-74-76
234 – Louis Tee Jun Jie (SIN) 78-78-78
235 – Christopher Daniel James 81-76-78
236 – Tommy Tan Xuan Hao (SIN) 79-80-77, Aaerishna Shahsthy Balakrishnan 77-81-78, Bryan Tan Wei Han 77-80-79

Girls’ Division (18 and Under)
223 – Samantha Martirez (PHI) 78-70-75, Kelie Kan Kah Yan 72-76-75, Warda Amira Abd Rawof 73-74-76
(Martirez wins a par on the first extra hole)
224 – Callista Chen Wan Qing (SIN) 75-72-77
227 – Bernice Olivarez-Ilas (PHI) 78-75-74, Rivani Adelia Sihotang (INA) 76-77-74
228 – Mikhaela Fortuna (PHI) 78-76-74
229 – Michela Tjan (INA) 73-82-74
231 – Jacqueline De Los Reyes Young (SIN) 77-81-73, Natasha Andrea Oon 77-74-80