Sabah, Malaysia: John Michael O’Toole scored a stunning 12-shot victory at the PGM EurAsia Sabah Championship after closing with a two-under-par 70.
With a winning total of 15-under-par 273, American O’Toole equalled the biggest winning margin on the Asian Development Tour (ADT). But it will not be a formal record as the preferred lies ruling was in play.
Natthapong Niyomchon of Thailand settled for second place following a 69 while Amir Nazrin of Malaysia, Thais Panuwat Muenlek and Nattawat Suvajanakorn and John Catlin of the United States shared third place.
The 24-year-old O’Toole, who led from start to finish, was surprised with his runaway victory. “It feels good to beat all the players this week by a large win. I didn’t really expect to win by so many shots.
“But the pressure was on them really. If I went out to play a solid round, someone had to shoot an extraordinary round to beat me. It helps to have a good lead. I felt like I didn’t have to make anything happen,” said O’Toole, who held a six-shot overnight lead.
He entered the RM200,000 (about US$44,600) event with a different mind-set and was rewarded for his patience.
“My game plan showed this week. There were a couple of times where I wanted to go back with a driver but laid back with an iron off the tee. I was confident with how I stuck to my game plan,” said O’Toole.
With the victory, the American took home a cheque for US$8,361 and six Official World Golf Ranking points. He will also enter the busy stretch on the Asian Tour schedule with high confidence.
“My game is trending in the right direction and I’m happy it paid off this week. This win is really important. Every time when you are in good form and you have that confidence, you want to take it with you into a tournament so I’m really looking forward to my next few Asian Tour events,” said O’Toole.
The PGM EurAsia Sabah Championship was founded through the co-operation between the Asian Tour, European Tour and PGM Tour in organising the EurAsia Cup, a team match play event between Asia and Europe.