Penang, Malaysia: Nitithorn Thippong won his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title with a final round three-under-par 69 at the RM225,000 (about US$58,000) PGM Penang Championship.
The 21-year-old Thai, who entered the last day of the tournament one shot behind overnight leader Miguel Carballo of Argentina, made four birdies against a lone bogey to close with a winning total of 15-under-par 273 at the Bukit Jawi Golf Resort.
Carballo was in a prime position for victory, but he had to settle for tied-second after returning a 72. Also in second place was Swede Malcolm Kokocinski, who earned his fifth top-10 finish this year. Kokocinski has now taken over the lead on the ADT Order of Merit list from American John Catlin, who was not in the field this week.
“I can’t describe my feelings right now. I hit excellent shots during the round and I’m thrilled to get my first victory outside my home country,” said Nitithorn, who has been in supreme form on Tour in 2018. Before his win, he earned three top-10s in three starts.
“I know that Miguel (Carballo) is a very good and experienced player as he has played on the PGA Tour, so I felt a little bit of pressure playing alongside him. I worked out some strategies with my coach, kept my composure and focused on my game. I’m glad everything worked out.” he added.
Wilson Choo of Malaysia finished in tied-10th on 279. Amir Nazrin was the next highest-ranked Malaysian. He carded a 66, the day’s lowest score, to climb to 17th place.
The PGM Penang Championship was the seventh leg of the 2018 ADT schedule. It was the ADT’s third stop in Malaysia.
Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered on all ADT events with the winner earning six points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.
The leading five players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the Asian Tour for the 2019 season.
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