Maiden Overseas Success for Thai Poom

Poom Saksansin celebrates his win in the PGM Kinrara Championship. Picture by Arep Kulal/PGM Tour
Poom Saksansin celebrates his win in the PGM Kinrara Championship. Picture by Arep Kulal/PGM Tour

Puchong, Malaysia: Poom Saksansin captured his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title after closing with a classy six-under-par 64 to win by one shot at the weather-hit PGM Kinrara Championship.

The 22-year-old Thai, who held a one-shot lead heading into the final round, fired seven birdies against a lone bogey for a winning total of 12-under 198 at the RM200,000 (about US$50,000) event.

Filipino Mars Pucay returned with the day’s lowest score of 63 to take second place at the Kinrara Golf Club. His bogey-free effort would have set a new course record if not for the preferred lies in place.

Thai Ronnachai Jamrong and local stalwart Shaaban Hussin settled four shots back in third place following rounds of 67 and 68 respectively while Japanese Masaru Takahashi (67), Malcolm Kokocinski of Sweden (67) and Malaysian Sukree Othman (69) shared fifth on 204 in the 23rd leg of this season’s ADT schedule.

Poom, who joined the play-for-pay ranks in 2013, enjoyed a flawless front nine 30 highlighted by four straight birdies starting from the sixth hole before adding two more birdies against a lone bogey on his way home. 

“I got off to a superb start. I was just thinking about winning. I played well. My iron shots and my short game were great. I was really nervous coming in. I thought I was leading by a lot but was surprised to see Mars (Pucay) just one shot back coming to the last hole,” said Poom.

Poom will take home a prize purse of US$8,371 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking points courtesy of his victory.

“I was feeling disappointed coming to this week because I missed the half-way cut on the Asian Tour in Macao last week. To win on the ADT this week is a great boost of confidence for me. This is only my second professional win and my first outside Thailand. It really means a lot,” Poom added.

Despite ruing a missed opportunity for a maiden ADT win, Pucay was delighted to breathe new life into his lacklustre season.

“I have been struggling with my game for a while. I didn’t expect to shoot a 63 today so I am very happy with how I played, even though I did not win. I practiced a lot on my short game before coming here. I’m glad the efforts have paid off,” said the 45-year-old Filipino, who needed only 25 putts.

The PGM Kinrara Championship was reduced to 54 holes by tournament officials after the first round was postponed to Thursday due to bad haze in the local area.

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