Final-Hole Birdie Seals the Deal for Malaysian Kim

Leunkwang Kim eked out a one-stroke victory. Picture by Ali Mufti/PGM).

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia: Leunkwang Kim clinched his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the PGM MNRB ADT Championship after closing with a four-under-par 68 to win by one shot from fellow-Malaysian Daeng Abdul Rahman and American Samuel Cyr.

Kim, who opened his campaign with a 69, marked his card with one eagle and five birdies against three bogeys to seal his victory with a winning total of seven-under 137 in the tournament which was reduced to 36 holes after two days of play was lost to hazy conditions.

Thai Chonlatit Chuenboonngam posted a closing 69 to finish two shots away from Kim in fourth, followed by Malaysian M. Sasidaran (69) in fifth.

Singaporean Gregory Foo, Low Khai Jei of Malaysia, Korea’s Shin Hyuk-chul and Australian Adam Blyth tied for sixth on 141 at the Kelab Golf Sarawak.

“I never expected it, to be honest. I’m still trying to take it in,” said 24-year-old Kim, who pocketed RM39, 375 (about US$9,397) for the win.

“I had fun out there. I hit the ball good, stayed patient and played my own game. I bogeyed 16 and 17, but birdied the last hole so it was nice. It was still hazy out there but I didn’t wear a mask because it would have affected my game.”

Kim is the first Malaysian to win on the ADT circuit this year. Since the ADT’s inception in 2010, there has always been at least one Malaysian winner on the circuit every season.

Kim did not have the best of starts, as he bogeyed the opening hole. But he recovered with a birdie on the third, before sinking an eagle on the par-five fifth hole.

Three further birdies followed on the back nine before he slipped with bogeys on 16 and 17. But a birdie on 18 sealed the deal.

Daeng, who opened up a four-shot lead thanks to an opening 65 on Wednesday, was distraught after battling to a 73 to let the title slip away. “I have never won an ADT event and was really looking forward to winning this. But it is difficult when you make four bogeys out there,” said Daeng.

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