Taipei, Taiwan: Spain’s Carlos Pigem claimed the scalp of Japan’s Shunya Takeyasu when he defeated the Japanese in a play-off to lift his first professional title at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC).
An emotional Pigem snared a birdie putt on the first play-off hole to win the US$500,000 event. He had finished regulation play with a five-under-par 67 at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
“I’m really at loss for words. I cried when I sank that birdie putt on the play-off hole. That feeling of winning my first professional title here at the Yeangder TPC is simply indescribable,” said Pigem.
The Spaniard gained an advantage in the play-off when his second shot on the par-five 18th found the middle of the fairway after Takeyasu struck his into the rough.
Pigem then hit his third shot to within five feet of the pin. He knew the Yeangder TPC title was his to lose when Takeyasu’s fourth shot landed on the edge of the green. Pigem duly rolled him his birdie putt to clinch victory.
“Play-offs are always going to be a 50-50 affair. I had the advantage when I hit my second shot onto the fairway and that took a little pressure off me after seeing Takeyasu’s ball land in the rough.”
Takeyasu, who carded a flawless closing 66, forced his way into the play-off with a four-day total of 12-under 276.
However, a wayward shot during the play-off left the Qualifying School graduate with an uphill battle.
“I gave my best and was unlucky in the play-off. I hit a bad shot into the rough and that really made things very tough for me. It’s not my week but I know I’m capable of playing good golf and it can only get better from here,” said Takeyasu.
It was a case of another missed opportunity for Malaysian Nicholas Fung, who looked poised for his breakthrough on the Asian Tour until two bogeys on 15 and 17 undid his good work.
Fung missed a birdie putt on the 18, which would have given him a play-off spot and he ended the week tied for third place with Australian Scott Barr, the overnight leader.