Puchong, Malaysia, October 24: Young Thai talent Poom Saksansin captured his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory after closing with a classy six-under-par 64 to win by one shot at the PGM Kinrara Championship on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Thai, who held a one-shot lead heading into the final round, fired seven birdies against a lone bogey for a winning total of 12-under-par 198 at the RM200,000 (approximately US$50,000) ADT event.
Filipino Mars Pucay returned with the day’s lowest score of 63 to take second place at the Kinrara Golf Club. His impressive bogey-free run would have set a new course record if not for the preferred lies in place.
Thailand’s Ronnachai Jamrong and local stalwart Shaaban Hussin settled four shots back in third place following rounds of 67 and 68 respectively while Japanese Masaru Takahashi (67), Malcolm Kokocinski of Sweden (67) and Malaysia’s Sukree Othman (69) shared fifth on 204 at the PGM Kinrara Championship, which is the 23rd leg of the ADT schedule this season.
Poom, who joined the play-for-pay ranks in 2013, capped a flawless front nine 30 highlighted by four straight birdies starting from the sixth hole before adding two more birdies against a lone bogey on his way home.
“I got off to a superb start. I was just thinking about winning out there. I played well. My iron-shots and my short game were great. I was really nervous coming in. I thought I was leading by a lot but was surprised to see Mars (Pucay) just one shot back coming to the last hole,” said an upbeat Poom.
Poom will take home a prize purse of US$8,371 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking points courtesy of his victory.
“I was feeling disappointed coming to this week because I missed the halfway cut on the Asian Tour in Macao last week. To win on the ADT this week is just a great boost of confidence for me. This is only my second professional win and my first outside of Thailand. It really means a lot,” Poom added.
Despite having to rue a missed opportunity for a maiden ADT win, Pucay was delighted to breathe some new life into his lacklustre season where he had made only two halfway cuts on the ADT this season.
“I have been struggling with my game for a while. I didn’t expect myself to shoot a 63 today so I am very happy with how I played, even though I did not win. I practiced a lot on my short game before coming here. I’m glad the efforts have paid off.
“I’m definitely taking a lot of positives from this week, hopefully this will set me in good shape for the Asian Tour’s Resorts World Manila Masters next month,” said the 45-year-old Filipino, who needed only 25 putts.
The PGM Kinrara Championship was earlier reduced to 54 holes by tournament officials after the first round was postponed to Thursday due to bad haze in the local area.
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.
The ADT is celebrating its sixth season where it has grown immensely from five events in the first year in 2010 to a record 27 tournaments in 2015.