Productive Range Session Paves Way for Higa Triumph

Kazuki Higa posted his second ADT victory.

Johor, Malaysia: Kazuki Higa claimed his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title in fine style, closing with a superb seven-under-par 65 at the PGM UMW ADT Championship.

A week after finishing tied-second at the Palm Resort Golf and Country Club, the 23-year-old Japanese swept to a six-shot victory at the same venue with a four-day total of 22-under-par 266.

Compatriot Naoki Sekito signed for a 67 to share second place with overnight leader Shintaro Kobayashi who closed with a disappointing 72 at the RM225,000 (about US$54,000) event.

Malaysian Ben Leong was the highest-placed local player, ending his campaign with a 72 to finish in tied-fourth with four other players.

Starting the day one shot off the pace, Higa dropped a stroke on his second hole. But birdies on three, six, eight and nine enabled him to make the turn in 33.

“I wasn’t happy with how I was hitting it yesterday so I did some work at the range and it really helped me. I stayed consistent and was hitting shots exactly how I wanted to,” said Higa, who secured his maiden ADT victory last April in Bangladesh.

The Japanese extended his advantage with further birdies on 11, 12, 16 and 18 for a homeward 32.

“I was close to getting a win last week and that really gave me the motivation I needed to get the job done today. I just told myself to trust myself and not think about how other people were playing,” added Higa, who moved up to third place on the Merit rankings.

He took home a cheque for US$9,627.23 and received six Official World Golf Ranking points.

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