Bogor, Indonesia: Naoki Sekito completed an imperious 11-shot victory at the inaugural Gunung Guelis Golf Invitational supported by Nomura to claim his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory.
The 21-year-old Japanese, who led from start to finish, entered the final round with an eight-shot lead and ran away with his second title of the season after closing with a five-under-par 65 and a winning total of 22-under-par 258 at the Gunung Geulis Golf and Country Club.
Kwanchai Tannin posted a 68 to take second place while fellow-Thais Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (64) and Chonlatit Chuenboonngam (65) came in third and fourth place on 270 and 272 respectively at the US$75,000 event.
Sekito cemented his lead atop the ADT Order of Merit with his latest triumph, which saw him take home a winner’s prize purse of US$13,125 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking points.
“I can’t explain how happy I am right now. I didn’t expect myself to win twice at the start of the season. I know I just need one more win on the ADT to gain playing rights on the Asian Tour for the remainder of the season so that is my next goal.
“The ADT has been a great training ground for me. I don’t get to play a lot of four-day events back home so it’s good to be able to hone my skills on the ADT. The standard of play is high-level so I definitely learned and benefit a lot from playing on the ADT,” said Sekito.
Sekito set a new course record at the East Course when he opened his campaign with a 62. He pulled away from the field by carding rounds of 67 and 64 before firing six birdies against a bogey for a closing 65.
“The overnight eight-shot lead did help me stay calm and composed but I told myself to just focus on reaching my target of 20-under-par. I did that and it felt really good,” added Sekito.
After turning professional at the start of 2018, Sekito attempted to secure his Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School but an unsuccessful bid saw him switch his focus to the ADT, where he missed only three cuts in 13 starts and notched a top-five result.
Sekito endured another futile attempt at the 2019 Qualifying School but an invite to the PGM UMW ADT Championship in March turned his career around as he posted a joint runner-up finish in what was his first start on the ADT this season.
At April’s PGM ADT Penang Championship he claimed a one-shot victory for his first ADT title and then finished solo second at the following week’s Butra Heidelberg Cement Brunei Championships.
Sekito notched another tied-second place finish in Malaysia last month to take over the Order of Merit lead from Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat.
Following his victory in Indonesia, Sekito leads the Merit standings with a season’s haul of US$42,595, widening the gap between him and second-placed Itthipat to more than US$14,000.