Kuala Lumpur, February 6: Shunya Takeyasu of Japan edged a luckless Namchok Tantipokhakul of Thailand to win his first career title at the PGM UMW Championship on Saturday.
The 23-year-old Japanese closed with a five-under-par 67 to triumph in the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event with a winning total of 16-under-par 272 at the Templer Park Country Club.
Namchok settled for second place after his birdie attempt on the last hole lipped out as he returned with a 69 to finish one-shot back from the champion at the RM200,000 (approximately US$46,600) ADT event.
Doohwan Bang of Korea and Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent shared third place following rounds of 65 and 69 respectively to finish on matching 274s.
Takeyasu was delighted to win his first ADT title since turning professional in 2013 after posting a blemish free card which included five birdies.
After finishing tied 18th at Qualifying School last month, the Japanese believes this win will be the perfect confidence booster ahead of his first Asian Tour event at the Bashundhara Bangladesh Open next week.
“I’m very happy with the win. It is my first ever title!” said the ecstatic Takeyasu, who won US$8,397.
“I enjoy playing in Asia because I like the warm weather. It is very cold in Japan now. My game has been consistent since Qualifying School so this win comes at the right time,” he added.
A devastated Namchok rued the missed opportunity to win his second ADT title in a span of two months after narrowly missing his birdies putts on the last hole for the second day.
“It was the same yesterday, it looked like a sure birdie but it jumped out. I threw the game away. I didn’t give myself many birdie chances and didn’t take the scoring opportunities on the par fives. It is okay Shunya played well and he deserves the win,” said Namchok.
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.