Triumphant Pannakorn Sets Sights on Order of Merit Crown

Pannakorn emerged victorious in Johor.

Johor, Malaysia: Pannakorn Uthaipas overcame a four-shot overnight deficit to win his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the PGM ADT Johor Championship.

The 28-year-old Thai had a poor start as he dropped a shot on the second hole, which distanced him and the overnight leader, Poom Pattaropong of Thailand, to six shots. However, the bogey sharpened Pannakorn’s resolve and he began to attack the pins at Palm Resort Golf and Country Club.

The strategy worked, as he shot an eagle and five birdies to sign for a 20-under-par 268 total to win the tournament by two shots.

Poom was not able to get his final round going. The three birdies he made were negated by an equal number of bogeys. He had to contend with a tied-second finish along with Japan’s Kazuki Higa.

Higa, a one-time ADT winner, shot eight birdies and did not drop a single shot over his first 16 holes. However, his tournament unravelled after making a bogey on the 17th.

Malaysian Daeng Rahman also made a sprint to the finish. He traded an eagle and five birdies against a lone bogey to card a six-under-30 on his back-nine, which helped him climb from tied-ninth to tied-fourth. 

On the victory, Pannakorn said: “The birdie on eight was significant. I missed the green at the par-three hole by about 30 yards, but I managed to chip it in. After that, I was feeling even more confident.

“I was only focusing on my game. I played very well in the first two rounds and I know that my game is in a good place.”

Pannakorn is now aiming to win the ADT Order of Merit for the second time, having topped the money list in 2017.

The merit champion, as well as the leading six players on the final ADT Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

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