Kuala Lumpur, April 15: Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung lifted his third Asian Development Tour (ADT) title after prevailing in a three-way play-off against compatriot Gavin Green and Japan’s Masaru Takahashi at the PGM UMW Championship on Saturday.
Fung dropped a bogey on his 72nd hole to close with a two-under-par 69 and was forced to go the distance with Green and Masaru, who carded equal 70s, after the trio were tied on 12-under-par 272 total in regulation play at the TPC Kuala Lumpur’s east course.
The 26-year-old Fung, who was crowned the ADT Order of Merit champion in 2013, emerged triumphant after rolling in an eight-footer for birdie on the first extra hole held on the par-four 18 at the RM200,000 (approx. US$44,600) ADT event.
Green and Masaru, who had held a one-shot lead heading into the final round, bowed out with a par and a bogey respectively to settle for a share of second place at the PGM UMW Championship, which is the fourth leg of the ADT schedule this season.
After the late stumble, Fung, who claimed a top-10 finish on the ADT last month, was determined not let the opportunity slip out of his hands again in the sudden-death play-off.
“I got ahead of myself on the 18 in regulation play. I was in a rush. I hit a wayward drive into the left rough and made a bogey there. It was really gloomy out there and I wanted to finish before the rain comes.
“When I head back to the 18 for the play-off, I told myself to just go for it. I had a good drive and I hit my second shot to within eight feet. I am glad I got the job done. It has been awhile since I last won on the ADT,” said the bespectacled Sabahan, who claimed his second ADT win in 2015.
Fung overcame a sore arm and the lengthy weather suspensions to claim what was his 16th professional title since joining the play-for-pay ranks in 2010. He had to play a total of 28 holes on Saturday due to earlier weather disruptions in the week.
“I am still feeling pain in the right arm but it’s getting better and I am slowly recovering. I was prepared for the weather suspensions actually, knowing the weather here in Kuala Lumpur. I just stayed patient. This win is a great confidence boost for me. I hope to carry on my good form onto the Asian Tour in the next two weeks,” Fung added.
Fung takes home a winner’s prize purse of US$7,954. He will also receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points following his victory.
Like all other ADT events, the top six players and ties will also receive OWGR points based on a sliding scale.
The ADT, which is celebrating its seventh season this year, will reward the top-five finishers on the Order of Merit at the end of this season with Asian Tour cards for 2018.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading final round scores:
272 - Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 66 68 69 69, Gavin GREEN (MAS) 70 65 67 70, Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 67 68 67 70
273 - Micah Lauren SHIN (USA) 72 67 70 64
274 - Nattawat SUVANAJANAKORN (THA) 70 70 68 66, Martin DIVE (AUS) 69 69 72 64, Narutoshi YAMAOKA (JPN) 71 66 69 68, Shariffuddin ARIFFIN (MAS) 68 66 69 71
276 - Steve LEWTON (ENG) 67 70 69 70
277 - Oscar ZETTERWALL (SWE) 70 72 69 66, Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) 69 67 72 69
278 - Galven Kendall GREEN (A) (MAS) 72 68 65 73, Danny CHIA (MAS) 71 70 69 68, Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 70 69 71 68, Pannakorn UTHAIPAS (THA) 70 68 70 70
279 - Michael TRAN (VIE) 71 69 72 67, Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 73 69 70 67
280 - Johnson POH (SGP) 69 70 69 72, Brett MUNSON (USA) 71 67 73 69, Ben LEONG (MAS) 71 67 69 73
About Asian Development Tour
The Asian Development Tour was launched in 2010 with the aim of creating a career pathway for professional golfers in Asia. Sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the Asian Development Tour will ultimately create a new playing platform for emerging stars from across Asia and around the world. Through the Asian Tour Qualifying School, players will qualify for the Asian Development Tour and enjoy the opportunity to hone their games and talent through a secondary circuit in Asia. Designed in the same structure as the Web.com Tour in America and European Challenge Tour, the Asian Development Tour is a stepping stone to the Asian Tour and the exciting world of international golf. The Asian Development Tour has been structured to ensure the best opportunities for its members. The leading five players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. All ADT events receive Official World Golf Ranking points.