Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia: Asian Tour rookie Ryan Yip of Canada closed with a superb eight-under-par 63 to win by one-shot at the PGM Port Dickson Championship.
Coming from five shots back, Yip marked his card with one eagle and seven birdies against a lone bogey to pip Malaysian Khor Kheng Hwai, who also signed for a 63, with a 20-under-par 264 total at the Port Dickson Golf and Country Club.
Overnight leader Arie Irawan of Malaysia carded a 72 to finish third, four shots behind Yip, while Thailand’s Tirawat Kaewsiribandit settled for fourth place following a 65 at the RM200,000 (about US$60,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Yip, who secured his Asian Tour card at Qualifying School this year, was delighted to emerge victorious in his first appearance on the ADT, which was launched in 2010 as a gateway to the Asian Tour.
“I woke up feeling confident that I can have another go in chasing for the win. I wanted to have a good showing this week to put my game in good shape ahead of next week’s event. I’m glad I managed to do it,” said the 29-year-old, who walked away with the winner’s purse of US$10,812 and six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.
Currently ranked 65th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, Yip will be hoping to replicate his ADT success in the Mercuries Taiwan Masters on the Asian Tour next week.
“I wanted to play on the Asian Tour because I know it is a good platform for me to boost my world ranking with the OWGR points on offer. I’m looking forward to going back to play on the main Tour. Hopefully I can extend my good form into next week’s event,” added Yip.
Despite narrowly missing out on his maiden win, Khor soaked in the positives as he posted his career low round and best finish on the ADT. “My putter worked wonders today. I putted really well for all four rounds. I have nothing to lose despite missing out on the win. It was a pretty amazing week for me,” said the 29-year-old Malaysian.
Meanwhile, Arie, who led in the first three rounds, will have to wait longer for his maiden victory as he failed to fend off his fast-charging rivals.
The young Malaysian reeled in nine straight pars but hit his drive out-of-bounds on the 10th hole which resulted in a triple-bogey. He dropped a shot on the 13th hole but recovered with three birdies in his last five holes.
“I failed to get into the rhythm out there. I tried to not think about how the other two guys are playing. I told myself to stay calm and positive out there and keep doing what I do best but Ryan (Yip) and Khor were really charging up the leaderboard,” said the 24-year-old.
“I am disappointed but it was a good experience. It’s my first time leading into the final round and I kind of know how different it feels between being in the lead and being in contention now. I’m still happy to finish in top-three. I believe my chance will come if I keep up with how I’ve been doing,” added Arie.