Danny Chia won his third Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour title of the season when he registered a massive six-stroke victory over American Casey O’Toole in the PGM Bukit Jawi Championship in Penang today.
Chia shot final round seven-under 65 that featured two eagles on the par-5s and had four birdies and a bogey to go with them. He finished with a 21-under 267 total – his best to date this season.
The victory in the RM200,000 tournament, co-sanctioned by the Asian Development Tour, and one which carries world rankings points, almost surely secures Chia a slot in the US PGA Tour’s CIMB Classic at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club next month.
The veteran Malaysian pro will move further ahead of Arie Irawan in the world rankings when the revised list is released tomorrow and with only one weekend to go before the cut for the invitation to the event which is set for September 30, Chia looks like he is just about home and dry.
The CIMB Classic reserves a slot for the best-ranked Malaysian in the world standings as of end of the month.
Despite this scenario Chia remained cautious about it today. He said: “It is not yet confirmed, but if I do make it (into the CIMB Classic) then it would be nice. I would definitely give it my best shot.”
Turning to this week’s triumph, which comes after successes at the Panasonic Open Malaysia – Tournament of Champions in January and the PGM Matchplay Championship in April, Chia added: “I’m happy that I managed to pull it off. I had a two-stroke lead at the start of the round and everything went off well today.
“This whole week I struck the ball well and I putted well too. The three weeks before this I struggled to find my rhythm, although I played okay in patches.”
Chia confirmed today that he would be flying out to Japan tomorrow for the Asia Pacific Open Mitsubishi Diamond Cup.
Irawan, who must now win the Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship in Taipei this week to stand any chance of sweeping past Chia in the rankings and snatch the last CIMB Classic berth, settled for a tie for 20th today after a fourth round even-par 72. He finished on three-under 285.
New Zealand’s Sean Riordan also had a 65 and moved up to third place on 274, while Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat shot a 71 for a 277 total and fourth spot.
Jordan Sherratt (69) of Australia and American Josh Salah (70) were joint fifth on 10-under 278, while Kemarol Baharin was the next best-placed Malaysian, in seventh, after his 69 took him to 280 – another stroke back.
Our next event will be PGM Perlis Closed Championship from 30th September 2015 to 3rd October 2015 at the Putra Golf Club, Kangar, Perlis.