Blake Synder won the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour's Northport Glenmarie Championship in stunning fashion at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club today.
The American made up a deficit of five strokes on overnight leader Gavin Green, the young Malaysian seeking a first win as a pro, following his recent move to the paid ranks.
Describing his first triumph on Tour as a roller-coaster win, Synder shot a fourth and final round 70 to finish on 13-under 275. Meanwhile, Green imploded with a four-over 76 that left him a stroke off the lead on 276.
Top Malaysian amateur player Low Khai Jei did his resume no harm with a joint third place finish alongside seasoned pro and countryman Sukree Othman on 10-under 278. Khai Jei posted the low round of the day - a seven-under 65, while Sukree signed for a 70.
On a dramatic final day of the RM200,000 tournament co-sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour and which carries world ranking points, Snyder played the last three holes: birdie, bogey, double-bogey, and yet still won by a stroke. He did the hard work earlier in his round as he chalked up six birdies, countered by another two bogeys.
In part Snyder's win was down to a horrendous last day performance by Green, who bogeyed the 2nd and 3rd holes, before birdieing the next three. Then came the heartbreak as he surrendered five strokes between 8th and 18th holes without any gains. He double-bogeyed the 8th hole, and then had three more bogeys at the 11th, 12th and 18th hole.
Snyder, a native of Seattle, Washington, who turned pro last year May, said he just delighted to have pulled it off.
"I tried to play myself in early on while not looking at the scoreboard," he explained. "And I did okay until the end when with three holes to go I looked at the scores and became a bit nervous.
"But even though I gave two shots back on the 18th, I'll consider that my best double-bogey so far, as it gave a one-stroke win."
The 23-year-old, who is based in Bangkok while in Southeast Asia, also picked up a cheque worth RM35,000 for his first win as a pro.
While his showing today will have devastated Green, Khai Jei will no doubt be pleased with his. He played some good golf and again gave notice that, if he does turn pro, he will have a decent base of experience with which to work.
Khai Jei had a round that featured no less than nine birdies, countered by two bogeys - one on each nine.
He started with a bogey but then bounced back with four birdies between the 3rd and 7th holes and his back nine had five birdies in the stretch from holes 11-16. However, he bogeyed the last hole - but it was still a gallant effort.
The next stop on the PGM Tour is PGM Orna Closed Championship at Orna Golf & Country Club in Melaka from August 26-29.