Danny Chia registered a comfortable 4-and-3 win over R. Nachimuthu in the final to claim the inaugural Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Matchplay Championship title at Impian Golf & Country Club in Kajang, Selangor today.
In the playoff for third place, Sukree Othman took the honours after Kemarol Baharin withdrew through injury at the 10th hole with the former 1-up at the time.
Pleased with his week’s work Chia said: “I like this format and hopefully the Tour can introduce another one or two next year.”
He added: “I played solid the whole week although I did have it tough at times, especially in the first round where Khairul (Nizam Rasip) took the match to 17 holes.
“In the final today I made sure that I stayed focus on not giving anything away after I went in front and I’m happy with how it all turned out.”
Chia went in front after at the 7th hole with a birdie-two and was 2-up after the 8th hole. But Nachimuthu hit back at the next hole to reduce the arrears. However, a double-bogey at the 10th saw Chia move two in front again and from there Nachimuthu never really had any chance of coming back.
Chia birdied 11th and then nearly knocked it in for an ace at 12th for another birdie. The two players then halved the next three holes, which left Nachimuthu to concede the match after the 15th hole.
Despite coming up just short, Nachimuthu said he was happy with how he played overall and in reference to Chia’s display today, added: “He just made too many birdies – he played really well.
“I played okay overall but didn’t putt very well today when it mattered.”
Sukree too said he was pleased overall with his performance, but added: “I did struggle at times. My putting was not as good as it should have been.”
Kemarol, meanwhile, said he hurt his wrist yesterday and aggravating it and feeling more pain this morning decided he did not want to risk causing further harm to it.
“But I should be okay to play in the Rahman Putra Championship (from Wednesday-Saturday),” he added.
With the win, which was worth RM30,600, Chia took his seasonal earnings pass the RM200,000-mark. He is now just under double what second-placed Nachimuthu has accumulated in the PGM Tour Order of Merit with RM220,230.
On a Tour that is growing in stature and seeing its players perform more admirably on the regional circuits, the top-five have now all earned more than RM100,000 – and the first half of the year is not yet done.
PGM Order of Merit
Pos Name Earnings (RM)
1 Danny Chia 220,230.53
2 R. Nachimuthu 131,493.03
3 Sukree Othman 127,738.66
4 Nicholas Fung 116,240.94
5 Kemarol Baharin 114,951.00
6 Arie Irawan 96,887.71
7 Shaaban Hussin 86,716.50
8 Airil Rizman Zahari 64,938.33
9 Wilson Choo 64,810.07
10 Kenneth De Silva 62,686.07