Jakarta, Indonesia: Baby-faced Poom Saksansin cruised to a five-shot victory to claim his first Asian Tour title at the BNI Indonesian Masters presented by Zurich.
The 23-year-old Thai held a two-shot lead at the start of the day and stayed ahead of the chasing pack by shooting six birdies against one bogey to sign for a closing five-under-par 67. He finished on 18-under 270 at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.
Thai 17-year-olds Phachara Khongwatmai (68) and Suradit Yongcharoenchai (68) settled for tied second place with Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura (70) in the US$750,000 event.
Indian Gaganjeet Bhullar, who won his sixth Asian Tour title last week, ended in fifth place following a round of 67. He ended his campaign six shots back from the champion.
Poom, who won his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title in Malaysia last year, showed no signs of nerves when he made the turn in 34 before tightening his grip with three straight birdies on holes 10, 11 and 12.
Dropping only two shots in 72 holes, Poom played solid golf throughout the week and stayed calm under pressure when a host of players briefly threatened his lead early in the round.
“It feels great to be a champion. I just tried not to make bogeys today. Anything in the red numbers was good enough for me. Honestly, I was only hoping to make enough money to keep my Asian Tour card. This victory exceeded my expectations.
“I didn’t get into trouble in the first place so that’s why I only dropped two shots this week. My putting really saved me as well. My family will be very happy that I won. It also proves that I can play among the best players,” said Poom.
The victory earned him US$135,000 which moved him from 101st to 21st position on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
“This win opens up so many doors and opportunities for me. I get to play in the big events now and I’m really looking forward to it. There’s still a lot of room for improvement for me and before I step up in the big events I need to work even harder on my game,” added Poom.