Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Asian golf is mourning the passing of Periasamy Gunasagaran, a former Malaysian number one.
Described by local media as ‘an unassuming legend’, ‘Guna’, as he was known, passed away at the age of 53 after suffering a stroke a few days earlier.
‘Guna’ is best remembered for a brilliant performance in the 1994 Malaysian Open at Royal Selangor Golf Club when he came close to becoming the first player from his country to capture the title.
He contested an epic three-way play-off with Sweden’s Joakim Haeggman and New Zealand’s Frank Nobilo, battling eventual winner Haeggman up to the eighth extra hole with Nobilo dropping out after five holes.
In recent years, ‘Guna’ remained an active competitive player and dominated the Asian Senior Tour while still competing against younger professionals on the local PGM Tour.
In May last year, he made history by becoming the first Malaysian to play in a Champions Tour event, the Insperity Invitational in Texas where he finished a respectable 48th.
As an amateur he represented Malaysia with distinction, claiming the gold medal in the 1989 Southeast Asian Games.
A humble and courteous individual, he also flew his country’s flag in the Southeast Asian Men Amateur Team Championship for the Putra Cup.
Having turned pro in 1992 he went on to win three Order of Merit titles on the domestic Malaysian circuit. In 1994 he partnered Marimuthu Ramayah to a ninth-place finish in the World Cup of Golf in Puerto Rico. To this day that remains the best performance by a Malaysian duo in the event.
‘Guna’ is survived by his wife and four children.
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