Panuwat Soars After Early Eagle

Sutera Harbour Golf & Country Club, Sabah

Panuwat Muenlek triumphed in Kedah.
Panuwat Muenlek triumphed in Kedah.

Kedah, Malaysia: Panuwat Muenlek closed with a six-under-par 66 to secure his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory at the RM200,000 (about US$46,600) PGM Darulaman Championship.

The 30-year-old Thai, who held the lead for the first two rounds, fired an eagle on the first hole and added five birdies against a lone bogey to win by three shots with a 15-under 273 total at the Darulaman Golf and Country Club.

Compatriot Chanat Sakulpolphaisan returned with a bogey-free 67 to take second place while American Johannes Veerman (67), Thai Suradit Yongcharoenchai (69) and Indian Shubhankar Sharma (70) shared third on 277.

Overnight co-leaders John Catlin (72) of the United States and local duo Irfan Yusoff (73) and Airil Rizman (74) settled for sixth, tied-seventh and tied-ninth respectively.

Despite slipping out of the lead following a third round 73, Panuwat made a hot start to the final round, sinking a four-footer for eagle at the par-five first hole after a pinpoint approach from 213 yards. It was his second eagle of the week there.

“It was a superb start for me. It gave me a lot of confidence. I kept telling myself ‘I can do it’,” said Panuwat, who was one shot off the pace heading into the round.

Panuwat went on to birdie the fourth and fifth holes to turn in 34. He nailed three more birdies on his way home but stumbled with a bogey on 18 – his only blemish of the day.

“Everything was good for me today. I was nervous but I hung in there. I have won before and I know I can do it again,” added Panuwat, who won a cheque for US$8,750 and received six Official World Golf Ranking points.

Panuwat also rose to 11th place on the ADT Order of Merit, led by his compatriot and former Merit champion Pavit Tangkamolprasert, who won his fifth ADT title in Chinese Taipei last week.

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