Port Dickson, Malaysia: New Zealand’s Sean Riordan erased the heartbreak of missing the grade at the Asian Tour Qualifying School by closing with an even-par 71 to win his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the RM200,000 (about US$60,000) PGM Port Dickson Championship.
Riordan, who led the ADT event after the second round, endured a nervous finish as he signed off with a four-day total of 11-under-par 273 to snatch a one-shot victory over close friend Paul Donahoo of Australia.
The Malaysian trio of Shaaban Hussin, R. Nachimuthu and Kemarol Baharin shared third place with Sweden’s Oskar Arvidsson on 275 at the Port Dickson Golf and Country Club in the 13th leg of this season’s ADT schedule.
Starting the day with a three-shot advantage, a nervous Riordan saw that lead quickly disappear as he dropped three shots in his first seven holes. The New Zealander redeemed himself with birdies on eight and nine.
After turning in 36, he continued his search for more birdies but it would not come until the 18th hole where his decisive putt from 10 feet would be enough for him to fend off the spirited challenge from Donahoo, who had posted the day’s lowest score of 66.
“It was a rough day but I managed to get the job done. I dug deep and remained very patient. I can’t wait to go back home and celebrate this victory with my wife,” said Riordan.
Having lost his opportunity to earn his Asian Tour card in Qualifying School in January, Riordan turned his attention to the ADT where the top-five players on the Order of Merit at the end of the season will be rewarded with their card for the 2016 season.
The 26-year-old knows he has a good chance of playing his way back to the Asian Tour, having made a big jump to the third place on the money list with his maiden victory.
“It’s good to know I’m back with a chance of playing on the Asian Tour and this victory has definitely given me the confidence and motivation to do better,” said Riordan.