Jake Stirling shot a fourth and final round two-under 70 to hand himself the perfect birthday present – victory in the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s RM250,000 PGM Rahman Putra Championship today.
The Australian, who turns 26 years old tomorrow, finished with a 21-under 267 total at Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia in Sungai Buloh, Selangor for a two-shot win and his first triumph here in Asia.
Delighted with his week’s work, Stirling, who hails from Melbourne, said: “I am really happy with this performance. It’s my first win in Asia and I believe if you can win in this region then you have a good chance of winning almost anywhere. “Also, it’s my birthday tomorrow so this will give me good reason to celebrate,” added the player who earned an Asian Tour card at Qualifying School in January.
“I haven’t played too much golf in Asia but when I did I enjoyed it. I came close on a few occasions back home and in New Zealand, but this is just great. This tops it all,” said Stirling, who shot a 10-under 62 in the third round, which would have been a new course record, but for the preferred lies this week.
Stirling, who picked up a cheque worth RM43,750, said his plans for the second half of the season would be to “try and get better, and continue to work hard in training.”
Japan’s Masaru Takahashi signed for a last day 69 and second place, and also said he was pleased with his week’s performance.
“I played solid golf,” said the 28-year-old, from near Yokohama, who added that he was looking forward to returning home this week for an event on the Japan Golf Tour, before making his back here for another Asian Development Tour event. The ADT co-sanctioned the PGM Rahman Putra Championship, which also carries world points.
American Jason Todd, playing his first event on the PGM and ADT Tours, was third, having shot a fourth round 72 for a 15-under 273 total.
“I didn’t putt well on the first day (70) and today,” said the 28-year-old from San Diego, California, “and that cost me here.” He shot 65 and 66 in the second and third rounds.
“But I’m happy with the week as a whole.”
Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung fired the low round of the day and it propelled him to fifth spot. He was 12-under 276.
“I felt much more comfortable today than I did yesterday when the second round had to be completed before the third got underway. “Overall I am happy with how I played, especially today,” added the Sabahan.
The much-followed pro debut of Gavin Green ended in a tie for 25th place. The lad who just finished college in the US at New Mexico University had rounds of 70, 71, 73 and 71 for a three-under 285.
The PGM Tour will break for the Holy Month of Ramadan and resume with the PGM Swiss Garden Closed Championship at Damai Laut Golf & Country Club in Lumut, Perak from 22-25 July 2015.