New Putter Reaps Rich Dividends for Ryuichi

Ryuichi Oiwa emerged triumphant after a play-off.

Bandung, Indonesia: Wielding a new putter to good effect, Ryuichi Oiwa captured his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title after beating Trevor Simsby on the second hole of a sudden-death play-off at the Combiphar Players Championship.

American Simsby led by two shots heading into the final round, but Japan’s Oiwa, who started the day in second place, posted a closing, bogey-free six-under-par 66 at Parahyangan Golf .

With Simsby signing for a 68 it meant the duo completed the regulation 72 holes locked together at the top of the leaderboard on 12-under-par 276.

At the first extra hole both players made pars, but it was Oiwa who prevailed at the second additional hole with a par to his rival’s bogey.

“It was a pressure situation. I knew it was all about the putting, and I needed to concentrate,” said Oiwa, who pocketed US$17,500 for the victory.

The world number 1233 said his new putter worked well.

Playing alongside Simsby in the last flight, Oiwa was quick to get to work on the greens, snaring birdies on the third, fourth and sixth.

Confidence in his new flatstick grew further as he picked up strokes at 10 and 11. A string of pars followed before another birdie on 18 booked his play-off spot.

Victory saw Oiwa move to seventh on the Order of Merit (OOM) and raise his hopes of gaining an Asian Tour card next year, the prize that goes to the Merit winner.

“I hope to play in two more tournaments this year to secure my Asian Tour card – the Taifong Open in December, and possibly another event in Malaysia.”

In contrast to Oiwa, Simsby was left to rue some missed putts.

“Overall my putting wasn’t the greatest. There were a lot of missed opportunities. But it was a good battle out there, and I had a lot of fun,” said Simsby, who is seeking his first win in Asia.

Englishman Steve Lewton finished third courtesy of a closing 67, while Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun was in fourth after posting a 70.

Korean Kim Joo-hyung (67) was among a trio in tied-fifth, with Thais Chonlatit Chuenboonngam (69) and Jakraphan Premsirigorn (73).

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