Notable Triumph for Vietnamese Tran

Michael Tran triumphed in Jakarta.
Michael Tran triumphed in Jakarta.

Jakarta, Indonesia: Michael Tran has written his name into golf’s record books as the first Vietnamese winner on the Asian Development Tour (ADT).

In a dramatic finale at the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament, the 25-year-old defeated overnight co-leader Lam Chih Bing of Singapore on the first hole of a sudden-death play-off.

One shot off the pace going into the final round and two behind Lam heading to the final hole of regulation, it was Tran who took the plaudits at the Damai Indah Golf, BSD Course.

While he signed for a four-under-par 68 after sinking a 15-footer for birdie on the par-five 18th, Lam could only manage a closing bogey for a round of 69.

That two-shot swing left the duo tied on 18-under-par 270 at the US$100,000 event.

In the play-off at the 18th, Tran once more conjured a birdie which Lam was unable to match.

Tran, who mixed his card with seven birdies against three bogeys, took home the winner’s prize purse of US$17,500 and receives six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.

“I was just enjoying it and didn’t think too much. It is my first time playing here and also my first time getting into a play-off! This is by far the best finish I’ve had in my career. I have never shot lower than this before. It’s definitely a great motivation for me and I am looking forward to the remainder of the season,” said Tran, who turned pro in 2008 and has just one other win to his credit.

“Chih Bing had a good chance to win as he was leading by two shots heading into the last hole but I just focused on playing my own game. I have had four solid rounds this week and I am very happy with how I’ve played. The greens were perfect and I guess that helped the low scores this week,” added Tran.

Thai Sutijet Kooratanapisan, who held a share of the overnight lead, was one shot back in third place with American Jarin Todd after signing for rounds of 70 and 68 respectively while Panuwat Muenlek, also of Thailand, took fifth place on his own on 273 following a 71.

Singapore’s Mitchell Slorach (67) and Thai Atthaphon Sriboonkaew (70) shared sixth place on 274 while Rinaldi Adiyandono emerged as the highest placed Indonesian in tied-35th position after carding a second consecutive 70 in what is the richest ADT event in Indonesia this season.

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