Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: With a mature, blemish-free closing round, Marcus Lim Pang Chuen swept to an emphatic overall victory in the 13th Faldo Series Malaysia Championship.
Level pegging with Grace Chin Jun-li at the top of the leaderboard going into the final round at the Impian Golf & Country Club, Lim cantered clear of the field, moving smoothly into overdrive with a faultless final-round three-under-par 69.
That gave him a three-day aggregate of one-under 215 and enabled the national squad member to finish six strokes in front of Rizq Adam Rohizam and Foong Zi Yu in the 17th and penultimate event of the 2019-20 Faldo Series Asia season.
As well as earning himself a spot in the 14th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, the triumph should see Lim break into the top 1,000 in The R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) for the first time.
Winner of the Kuala Lumpur Amateur Open and the Perak Amateur Open last year, UCSI International School student Lim, who notched his first notable win as a nine-year-old in 2011, started the week in 1,014th position in the WAGR, seventh among Malaysian males.
Despite being unable to keep pace with Lim at Impian, Rohizam (Boys’ Under-16 winner) and Foong (Girls’ Under-16 winner) qualified for the Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at Vietnam’s Laguna Lăng Cô.
Also flying the flag for Malaysia at the annual showpiece will be Ryan Fernandez (Boys’ Under-21 winner) and Ashley Goh (Girls’ Under-21 winner).
Foong had to hold off a spirited challenge from second-round co-leader Chin, a fellow national team representative, to secure her place on the flight to Vietnam.
One shot behind Chin after 36 holes, Foong edged into a one-stroke lead with just two holes remaining. Both girls made birdies at the par-five 17th before Chin drew level thanks to another birdie at 18. However, it was Foong, round in 74 to Chin’s 75, who claimed first place among the Girls’ Under-16s on a countback.
The Grand Final was originally due to take place at the award-winning Faldo Design course from March 4-6. A fortnight ago, however, officials postponed the Grand Final due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A Faldo Series spokesperson said: “This decision was made to ensure all our finalists are able to participate in the 2020 Asia Grand Final. We are currently working on securing new dates for the tournament in November, which will be confirmed in the coming weeks.”
The 2019-20 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation. The International Junior Golf Academy is a partner of the Faldo Series.