Manila, Philippines: Gavin Green proved his credentials once again when he closed with a six-under-par 65 to win by two shots for his third Asian Development Tour (ADT) title and first outside of Malaysia at the US$60,000 ICTSI Manila Southwoods Championship.
The 22-year-old Malaysian, who claimed his second ADT win on home soil two months ago, fired seven birdies against a lone bogey to overturn a three-shot deficit and triumph with a 16-under-par 268 total at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club’s Legends Course.
Singapore’s Koh Deng Shan closed with three straight birdies en route to a 66 to share second place with Donlaphatchai Niyomchon of Thailand, who finished with a third consecutive 67 ib the 10th leg of the ADT schedule this season.
Overnight leader John Michael O’Toole of the United States battled to a 71 to settle for fourth place with Thai duo Poom Saksansin (68) and Pijit Petchkasem (70) on 271.
Miguel Tabuena, 110th on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), closed with a 68 to become the best-placed Filipino in tied-13th position on 275.
Green rolled in a 30-footer and a 20-footer for birdies on the second and sixth respectively before adding more birdies on the eighth and ninth to turn in 32. He added three straight birdies from 11 and was tied at the top with playing partner Donlaphatchai, who was equally impressive with seven birdies after 13.
Despite dropping a shot on 14, Green kept his cool to close out with four straight pars. The Thai, however, dashed his title hopes after stumbling with a bogey on 15 and a double-bogey on 16.
“It was a really interesting round. I played solid. Donlaphatchai was on my back from the start and we were both seven-under through 13. I stayed patient out there. I just keep hitting good shots and I kept the ball in play.
“I think I handled myself really well. I learnt from my round yesterday. I got from four-under to one-over yesterday but today I went from four-under to six-under. I think I trusted myself more today. I stayed positive and was able to hit it close,” said Green, who held the second round lead before slipping down the leaderboard with a third round 72.
Green is only the second Malaysian after Arie Irawan to win an ADT event outside his home country. He won his first ADT title in 2014 and became the first amateur to win on the Tour since it was inaugurated in 2010.
He took home the winner’s cheque for US$10,500 and received six OWGR points. With two victories and two top-10s in the bag, Green needs just one more victory to gain playing rights on the Asian Tour this season.
“This win means a lot to me. I have been working a lot with my coach Chris O’Connell and I am glad to see improvements. This win also came at the right time for me as I am heading to Japan for the Asian Tour event next week. Hopefully I can continue to do well,” added Green, who rose to second on the ADT Merit rankings with earnings of US$25,161.
Despite missing out on a breakthrough win, Koh was delighted to post his best result on the ADT this season. After nailing four birdies to turn in 32, Koh fell back with a double-bogey on the par-three 12 but regained his ground by closing out with three straight birdies.