Gurgaon, India: Rory Hie became the first Indonesian to win on the Asian Tour after carding a flawless closing four-under-par 68 to triumph at the inaugural Classic Golf and Country Club International Championship.
Hie, who held the lead since the first round, was determined to seal his maiden win and demonstrated that resolve with a birdie on the first hole.
Despite playing under intense pressure from the chasing pack, the 31-year-old maintained his composure by marking his card with 11 straight pars before a hat-trick of birdies from the 13th hole confirmed his place in the winner’s circle.
Hie paid an emotional tribute to the late Arie Irwan, who passed away in April, saying he knew his close friend was watching over him when he signed off with a 21-under-par 267 aggregate at the Classic Golf and Country Club.
He said: “Oh my God! I’m finally an Asian Tour champion. There are a lot of great players that didn’t, or haven’t won yet and I don’t know what I did to deserve this. I’m just so glad that it happened.
“I want to dedicate this win to Arie Irawan, who passed away. I felt like we went though all the same struggles as a pro. I’m sure he’s proud of me right now. We were really good friends.
“I just putted like a champion today. I think that’s what made the difference. Coming down the stretch I pretty much almost made every putt. I was so nervous coming into today. I was shaking, even on the driving range. But somehow I re-focused and actually after I made the birdie on 15 I knew I had a two-shot lead. I found it really hard to control my emotions at that point.
“I knew that all I had to do was pretty much par in. And I made a really great save on 17 that gave me that two-shot cushion.”
Korean Kim Byung-jun mounted a charge, going a shot clear of Hie after his fourth birdie of the day on the par-four 12th.
However, that would be the last birdie he was able to make as he closed out his last six holes with straight pars to finish in a share of second place with Indian Rashid Khan on 269.