Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia: Australian Andrew Dodt sank a two-foot birdie putt at the first hole of a sudden-death play-off to defeat Canadian Richard T. Lee at the US$300,000 Sarawak Championship.
For 33-year-old Dodt it was his third Asian Tour title and first in four years.
Playing in his first event since a two-month injury lay-off, Dodt had to endure an agonising wait in the clubhouse after closing with a flawless eight-under-par 64 at the Damai Golf and Country Club.
Knowing that he needed an eagle on the last hole to force extra-time with Dodt, 28-year-old Lee struck a majestic three-wood off the deck from about 275 yards to eight feet. He made the eagle putt to sign for a closing 66.
The duo, who were tied on 24-under-par 264 in regulation play, returned to the 517-yard par-five 18th for the play-off where both found the middle of the fairway with their tee shots.
Dodt laid up to about 75 yards from the pin while Lee decided to go for the green and got lucky when his ball hit the cart path and bounced to within 25 yards of the green in the rough. He then chipped to 12 feet but his birdie putt lipped out and it was Dodt who sealed the deal after sticking his approach to two-feet.
Reflecting on his victory, Dodt said: “I started my career on the Asian Tour. It’s nice to win on Tour again. It feels very rewarding. I’ve been playing great at home and I transformed that form at home into this week. It’s great to be holding the trophy.
“I had a two-month injury lay-off in April. It was probably a good reset as I gave myself a break and got the love of the game again. We had our first baby almost 10 months ago, so I got to spend some quality time with her.
“I will now have to reassess my schedule but I’m loving my golf, I just want to keep playing. I’m playing well, I feel like my game is in a good place, my head’s in a good place.”
American Micah Lauren Shin missed a 20-foot birdie putt on the last to force his way into the play-off as he signed for a 65 to finish in third place on 265 in the full-field event, which celebrated its second straight edition on the Asian Tour.
Overnight co-leader Hung Chien-yao of Chinese Taipei returned with a second straight 68 to take fourth place on 266 while Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines was a further shot back in fifth following a 66 at the Arnold Palmer-designed course.
Order of Merit leader Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand battled to a 69 to finish in a share of sixth place on 268 alongside a host of players, including Zimbabwean Scott Vincent, whose closing 62 would have matched the course record were it not for the preferred lies ruling in play.