Thailand’s Natthapong Niyomchon won the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s RM180,000 Port Dickson Championship today, but not before Kenneth De Silva carded a career-best 62 that took him to within one stroke of a playoff.
Natthapong fired a 68 for a 15-under 269 total and a cheque worth RM30,600. Meanwhile, De Silva’s nine-under-par round lifted him to 270, for which he picked a cheque of RM20,160.
The Malaysian’s impressive effort was his second 62 and would have been a new course record, but for the preferred lies – due to the recent heavy rains. Still it left the 24-year-old a happy man.
“I played very well today. My whole game was smooth but my putting was the outstanding part of it, which really made the difference. I had 10 birdies in the round and one bogey and felt comfortable all through the day,” said De Silva.
Looking ahead, De Silva added: “A round of golf like this gives you more confidence and I’ll be happy to go to Kinrara Golf Club next week for the PGM Kinrara Championship. I won there earlier this year and that is my favourite golf course.”
De Silva claimed the Kinrara Closed Championship there in January and will start next week’s event, which is co-sanctioned with the Asian Development Tour, as one of the favourites.
Natthapong played steady golf that saw him sign for a bogey-free round, which had three birdies in it – all of them coming on the second nine, with the one at the 16th proving the most crucial as it sealed the victory for him.
Also pleased with his performance and delighted with the win, the Thailand pro said: “Yes I am very happy to win here. I like playing in Malaysia and the golf course here in Port Dickson was very good.”
Mike Bibat of the Philippines shot a 70 for an 11-under 273 total and third place, while Nattawat Suvajanakorn, also of Thailand, carded a 70 for a 10-under 274 in fourth spot.
Chanat Sakulpolphaisan (67) and Nirun Sae-Ueng (71), both of Thailand, were tied for fifth on eight-under-par 276, while Malaysia’s R. Nachimuthu, who had a last round 66, was joint seventh with Singapore’s Koh Dengshan, who also closed with a five-under. Sukree Othman, another of the local contingent, was ninth – he shot a 69 for a 278 total.
M Sasidaran shot a 65 to join his Malaysian compatriot Kemarol Baharin (68) and Thailand’s Pijit Petchkasem (69) on 279 in a tie for 10th place.