Kuala Lumpur, November 28: Janne Kaske of Finland rode on a hot start to win his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title by five shots at the weather-shortened PMG MIDF KLGCC Championship on Saturday.
Kaske opened with four straight birdies before adding four more birdies against one bogey to finish on a superb seven-under-par 64 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club East course.
His winning total of 14-under-par 199 earned him US$8,143 and six valuable Official World Golf Ranking points at the RM200,000 (approximately US$50,000) event which is the penultimate stop on the ADT schedule this year.
Jordan Sherratt of Australia settled for second place following a 67 while Order of Merit leader Casey O’Toole (70) of the United States, Sam Cyr (67), Raphael De Sousa (69) of Switzerland and Thai duo Pijit Petchkasem (68) and Itthipat Buranatanyarat (68) shared third position on 205s.
Kaske’s victory propelled him to seventh position on the Order of Merit, two spots away from earning playing rights in the 2016 Asian Tour season with one more tournament to play. He trails fifth placed Masaru Takahashi of Japan by slightly over US$1,800.
The pressure on Kaske was evident as he turned in 30 but dropped his only shot of the day on the 13th hole when he hit his tee shot into the water. With so much to play for, he recovered superbly with birdies on 15, 16 and 18.
“This win feels almost more important than my first victory. The first one was special but given the circumstances on the Order of Merit, this definitely feels much better. I got a bit nervous towards the end and my hands were shaking because I knew how important this win would mean to me,” said Kaske.
“This win is going to give me a great opportunity to break into the top-five (on the Order of Merit) in the final event. I feel great because I knew I had to win one of the last two and to pull it off under pressure is great,” he added.
The 29-year-old won his first ADT title in May but has struggled to emulate his winning form until today. “I felt like I played the best possible golf I could. There was no breathing space and I had to make sure I kept making birdies,” he said.
“I’ve been getting off to bad starts and I felt like every round I had to fight back to get back to under-par so the hot start I had today really helped,” said Kaske.
The ADT’s next and final stop will be at the Baht 3 million (approximately US$91,000) Boonchu Ruangkit Championship which will be staged at the Rancho Chanrvee Golf & Country Resort from December 24 to 27 in Thailand.
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.