Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Jake Stirling secured his breakthrough on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) after closing with a two-under-par 70 to claim a two-shot victory at the PGM Rahman Putra Championship.
The Australian, who headed into the final round with a three-shot cushion thanks to a third round 62, fired four birdies against two bogeys for a winning total of 21-under-par 267 at the Rahman Putra Golf Club.
Japan’s Masaru Takahashi battled to a second consecutive 69 but was unable to pip Stirling to the title as he took second place on 269 while American Jarin Todd settled for third, four shots back at the RM250,000 (about US$69,250) event.
South African Mathiam Keyser came in fourth after carding a 68 while Malaysian Nicholas Fung signed off with a 66 to take fifth place on his own in the 14th leg of the 2015 ADT season.
Highly-rated Malaysian Gavin Green, making his professional debut, ended in a share of 25th place on three-under 285.
Stirling, who came through the Qualifying School in January to earn his playing rights for the 2015 Asian Tour season, held his nerve over the last 18 holes to land his first victory since joining the play-for-pay ranks in 2013.
“This win means a lot to me. I have been playing on the ADT for a couple of years now and I am very happy because it’s my first professional victory. Playing on the ADT hasn’t been easy but it’s been a great experience. It took me a while to get used to the different greens here in Asia. It’s very different from what we get back home in Australia,” said the 25-year-old.
“I was a little nervous today, especially going into the last few holes. But I told myself to stay calm and not think too much about winning. My main aim right now is to try and keep my Asian Tour card for next season,” added Stirling, whose highlight of the day came on the 16th where he sank a 25-footer for birdie.
Stirling will take home a prize purse of US$11,648 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points courtesy of his victory, which also propelled him to third place on the ADT Order of Merit led by Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Chi-hsien.
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