Kuala Lumpur, October 28: Kasidit Lepkurte of Thailand maintained his composure to close with a two-under-par 70 and win his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the PGM MIDF Championship on Saturday.
The 26-year-old Kasidit, who held a three-shot lead heading into the final round, traded three birdies against one bogey to win by three shots on 12-under-par 276 total at the Templer Park Country Club.
Thailand’s Pannakorn Uthaipas, who had led the first two rounds, matched Kasidit’s efforts of a 70 to settle for second place at the RM250,000 (approx. US$55,000) ADT event.
Shariffuddin Ariffin emerged as the highest-placed Malaysian after marking his best round of the week with a 66. He grabbed a share of third place with Thailand’s Nattawat Suvajanakorn and South African Mathaim Keyser, who returned with matching 69s.
“I never really felt the pressure as at the back of my mind, I knew I have a three-shot cushion at the start of the round,” said a jubilant Kasidit. “But it was after the birdie on the ninth when I felt really confident about winning the tournament.”
Kasidit joined the play-for-pay ranks in 2015 and he has enjoyed a top-10 finish last month prior to his win.
“I kept it simple; just aiming for fairways and greens. I am really happy about the way I putted,” added Kasidit, who took home a prize purse of US$10,339 and earned six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points courtesy of his victory.
Despite missing out on his second ADT title, Pannakorn’s runner-up finish was enough to help him regain the lead on the Order of Merit as he added US$6,794 for a current haul of US$44,736.
He leads by over US$2,685 from Masaru Takahashi of Japan, who was not in the field this week.
The ADT will head to Pakistan for the Defence Raya Golf Championship held at the Defence Raya Golf and Country Club next week. It will be the ADT’s first ever tournament in the country since the circuit was inaugurated in 2010.
All ADT events are afforded with Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status. The top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.
The leading five players on the final Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn their Asian Tour cards for the 2018 season.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading fourth round scores:
276 - Kasidit LEPKURTE (THA) 69 70 67 70
279 - Pannakorn UTHAIPAS (THA) 68 68 73 70
280 - Shariffuddin ARIFFIN (MAS) 74 71 69 66, Nattawat SUVAJANAKORN (THA) 73 67 71 69, Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 76 69 66 69
281 - Seungjae MAENG (USA) 70 70 74 67
282 - Janne KASKE (FIN) 76 67 70 69, Amir NAZRIN (MAS) 74 69 67 72
283 - Abel TAM (MAS) 74 70 70 69
285 - James BYRNE (SCO) 72 70 72 71
286 - Nirun SAE-UENG (THA) 73 71 71 71, Mohammad WAFIYUDDIN (MAS) 72 70 71 73
287 - John CATLIN (USA) 76 70 75 66, Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) 72 74 70 71, Blake SNYDER (USA) 73 70 73 71, Phanuvich ONCHU (THA) 71 72 72 72
288 - Airil Rizman ZAHARI (MAS) 74 71 74 69