An outstanding fourth and final round seven-under-par 65 lifted Finland’s Janne Kaske to a maiden Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour victory in the RM200,000 MNRB Sarawak Championship at Kelab Golf Sarawak today.
The 29-year-old, who resides about an hour outside the Finnish capital Helsinki and turned pro in 2010, finished with a comfortable four-stroke win from overnight leader Erwan Vieilledent, who himself carded a last day even-par 72.
Kaske, winner of the first stage of the Asian Tour School earlier this year – only to fail making the cut by one stroke when it mattered most – signed for a 12-under 276 total today and collected a cheque worth US$9,727 for his efforts.
PGM Player of the Year and leader or co-leader over the first two days Airil Rizman was tied for third place on 281 after closing with a 71. He was matched by Japan’s Masaru Takahashi (70) and American Casey O'Toole (71).
Two Thai players, Ratchapol Jantavara (70) and Nirun Sae-Ueng (71), were joint sixth on 282.
Kaske’s win was a deserved one if only because of how he played the last round. His 65 was the lowest of the tournament and characterised by sheer hard work and intense concentration.
Having started the final round three shots off the lead, the now Thailand-based player stumbled to a bogey on the 3rd hole before going on to play the next 10 holes in eight-under-par – such was his turnaround.
He picked up two shots straight after the 3rd hole (at the 4th and 5th) and then strung together a run of five birdies from holes 7-thru-11. He added another at 12th hole and played par-golf from thereon.
Delighted with his first win at an event that is co-sanctioned with the Asian Development Tour and carries world ranking points, Kaske said: “This is really very nice. I am really very happy to have won for the first time on the PGM and ADT Tours.
“I did my best at Asian Tour School but came just short, so to win here is really very nice.”
Turning to his game, the player who spent four and a half years at the University of Augusta State in the US, said: “I started with a round of 72 then shot a 67, which I felt was good as well. And then I had another 72 yesterday. So to finish like this is great.”
Looking ahead, Kaske said: “My aim is to try and earn an Asian Tour playing card for next year by finishing in the top-five of the ADT Order of Merit. Before this tournament, I was in 16th place, so I’m sure I will move up a bit and I will try to continue to try to do that for the rest of the season,” he added.
The PGM Tour’s next stop is the Port Dickson Championship at Port Dickson Golf & Country Club from May 27-30.