Sungai Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia, January 30: Josh Salah of the United States claimed a hard earned victory at the PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship after shooting a six-under-par 66 on Saturday.
The 24-year-old won by a mere stroke, thanks to two closing birdies, to finish on 17-under-par 271, defeating Shunya Takeyasu (70) of Japan at the RM200,000 (approximately US$46,600) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Jordan Sherratt of Australia settled for third place after returning with a 71 for a 274 total while Soonsang Hong of Korea finished a further shot back in fourth position following a 69 at the Kelab Rahman Putra Malaysia.
Salah stayed patient despite numerous weather delays during the week and was rewarded with his first ADT title after completing 26 holes on Saturday.
Trailing by four shots after the penultimate round, the American birdied the third hole before a bogey on the next hole ignited his title charge as he registered six birdies to cross the finishing line in style.
“I got off to a slow start. I bogeyed the fourth hole and it was the best thing that could have happened to me because it made me focus more. It made me stay committed to my targets. I was disappointed with the bogey from the middle of the fairway. From there, I knew I had to stay focus and not get ahead of myself,” said Salah.
Playing in his second season on the ADT, Salah was delighted to secure the win after missing the grade at Qualifying School in Thailand two weeks ago. The victory came with a prize purse of US$8,192, which pushed him to third place on the ADT Order of Merit.
“Last year I struggled a little bit but as the year got on, I felt more comfortable. I played week after week and felt that I was good enough and that I belonged here. I was disappointed with the Qualifying School but I knew I had what it takes to win out here. I couldn’t have done it without last year’s experience on the ADT,” said Salah.
With the Olympic Games looming this July 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.