Cavite, Philippines, April 18: Overnight leader Arie Irawan of Malaysia clinched his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title and first outside of Malaysia at the US$60,000 ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Malaysian, who had claimed his breakthrough ADT victory on home soil earlier in January, battled to an even-par 71 after trading two birdies against two bogeys on a blustery day at the Aoki course of the Eagle Ridge Golf and Country Club.
Arie closed with a four-under-par 280 total to win by four shots over local young talent Miguel Tabuena, who signed for a second consecutive 72, in what is the seventh leg of the ADT schedule this season.
Local stalwart Antonio Lascuna and compatriot Jun Bernis registered matching 69s to share third place on 285 while Thailand’s Poosit Supupramai settled one shot back in fifth place on his own.
American duo Brett Munson and Micah Lauren Shin as well as local veteran Elmer Salvador were amongst the five players bunched in sixth place on 287 at the ICTSI Eagle Ridge Invitational.
Arie credited his strong mental game for a steady performance today. His overnight three-shot lead was hardly challenged throughout the round.
“I kept my head down and try to stay calm out there. I told myself to relax and just focus on my game. It was windy today. I thought shooting even-par today was pretty good considering the tough conditions. I’m glad I made it through.
“This is my first win outside of Malaysia. It makes me feel that my game is there and I have the capability to win more. I definitely want to challenge for another win on the ADT this season. It’s good to see myself progressing and getting better,”said Arie, who pocketed US$10,500 and received six Official World Ranking Points (OWGR) points courtesy of his victory.
Arie was delighted to turn his season around with a second ADT victory after struggling with his game for about three weeks last month.
“I struggled with my game since the PGM Terengganu Championship last month and I didn’t play well in Chinese Taipei too. I got to play with Zaw Moe last week at the PGM Johor Championship and he gave me some advice on my swing. It finally clicked on the last day where I shot a 66 and that gave me a lot of confidence coming to this week,” added Arie.
Arie will return to the Asian Tour to contend for the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters presented by Enjoy Jakarta Golf, slated to take place from April 23 to 26 next week.
The ADT will continue to stay in the Philippines for the US$60,000 ICTSI Sherwood Hills Classic which will tee off at the Sherwood Hills Golf Club from April 22 to 25 next week.
The ADT will reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2016.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com
Leading final round scores
280 – Arie IRAWAN (MAS) 73-69-67-71
284 – Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 72-68-72-72
285 – Antonio LASCUNA (PHI) 74-72-70-69, Jun BERNIS (PHI) 77-73-66-69
286 – Poosit SUPUPRAMAI (THA) 75-71-69-71
287 – Clyde MONDILLA (PHI) 76-72-69-70, Elmer SALVADOR (PHI) 74-75-67-71, Sejun YOON (USA) 73-70-71-73, Micah Lauren SHIN (PHI) 74-66-72-75, Brett MUNSON (USA) 75-67-70-75
290 – Panuwat MUENLEK (THA) 75-71-71-73
About the Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.