Yangon, January 28: Paul Peterson of the United States secured his maiden Asian Tour title when he outclassed the field with a two-shot victory at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open on Sunday.
The 29-year-old started his final day two shots off the lead, but stormed out quickly with two birdies and an eagle in his opening five holes. Peterson’s lead was briefly threatened when he dropped two shots on 15 and 17 but the American maintained his composure by sinking a crucial birdie at the last hole for his Asian Tour breakthrough.
Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira set the course record at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club with a stunning 63. However his final day heroics were not enough to overtake Peterson, leaving him to settle for a share of second place with compatriot Tomoyo Ikemura with his four-day total of 11-under-par 273 at the US$750,000 event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).
American Berry Henson continued his amazing return from injury by carding a 64 to finish in fourth place while Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan, who led for the first two rounds, closed with a 69 to share fifth place with 2016 Leopalace21 Myanmar Open champion Shaun Norris of South Africa and Japan’s Yusaku Miyazato.
Did you know?
- Paul Peterson’s last win came in 2016 at the Czech Republic on the European Tour.
- The Leopalace21 Myanmar Open is Peterson’s first win on the Asian Tour.
- Peterson had carded a total of 22 birdies and one eagle over four days at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club.
- He also made a total of 39 pars and had nine bogeys and one double-bogey.
- Satoshi Kodaira set a new course record with his final round 63, smashing the previous ones set by Australia’s Todd Sinnott and Japan’s Yusaki Miyazato who carded a 64 during the third and second round respectively at the Leopalace21 Myanmar Open last year.
- Berry Henson’s serious wrist injuries caused him to stay out of competitive golf for 18 months.
- The American’s last victory on the Asian Tour was in the Philippines in 2011.
- He made his first start since returning from injury with a tied-eighth finish in Singapore last week.
I’m Mr. Sunday. It’s awesome. My game has been so good and I just needed to trust myself – Berry Henson
Paul Peterson (Usa), Fourth round Five-under-par 66, Total (-13) 271
This victory is very special as the Asian Tour is where I started and to be able to get a win here really means a lot. I had to make that transition from Asia to Europe and I was trying to play in as many events as I could. So it just feels right that I’m finally able to have a win under my belt out here in Myanmar. I felt like I made some good putts yesterday like on 17 and 18 although I three-putted there. The greens got so fast and slippery and my putts just didn’t go in. But I tried to put that out of my mind because I’ve been playing such consistent golf this week. I was like even if those bogeys came at the end of the round or at the beginning, it didn’t really matter as this golf course has shown its tough because even an even par didn’t move me anywhere far off the lead. So I was confident of myself and I knew I had a chance to win. And I did.
Satoshi Kodaira (Jpn), Fourth round Eight-under-par 63, Total (-11) 273
I’m really pleased with how I’ve played all week. It’s a good feeling especially when you know you can set a course record. Although I didn’t win, it’s still a good week as I know I’m capable of playing my best golf.
Berry Henson (Usa), Fourth round Seven-under-par 64 Total (-10) 274
I’m Mr. Sunday. It’s awesome. My game has been so good and I just needed to trust myself. I trusted myself last week in Singapore and shot a 65. I trusted myself again today and I felt good. I knew the last few holes were going to be tough and I had to make a charge. I didn’t know if I was ever going to play golf again. I went through two pretty major wrist surgeries but I stayed positive. My doctor told me I was going to be fine and I worked hard on my body and did everything I could to get back out here. The people who worked hard to get me back into the game were awesome. I feel so strong now and my body feels great. As I started to play golf again, I could see the changes in my swing and I was shooting some really good numbers. I knew tournament rust was not going to be too much of an issue and it was basically believing in my abilities to play at the highest level again.
Rattanon Wannasrichan, (Tha), Fourth round Two-under-par 69, Total (-9) 275
I did not putt well today. If I putted better, that could have made the difference. But overall, I’m happy with the result as this will give me lots of confidence going into next week’s event in Malaysia. You need a strong performance to know that your game is heading in the right direction and I’m glad I had that this week in Myanmar.
271 – Paul PETERSON (USA) 68-66-71-66.
273 – Satoshi KODAIRA (JPN) 69-69-72-63, Tomoyo IKEMURA (JPN) 71-66-69-67.
274 – Berry HENSON (USA) 68-71-71-64.
275 – Rattanon WANNASRICHAN (THA) 65-69-72-69, Shaun NORRIS (RSA) 67-70-69-69, Yusaku MIYAZATO (JPN) 71-65-68-71.
276 – Tatsuya KODAI (JPN) 69-70-71-66, Masahiro KAWAMURA (JPN) 67-68-70-71.
277 – Scott VINCENT (ZIM) 68-73-70-66, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 68-71-71-67, Gaganjeet BHULLAR (IND) 70-72-66-69, Arjun ATWAL (IND) 70-68-68-71.
278 – Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 69-69-72-68, Miguel TABUENA (PHI) 69-69-72-68, Shugo IMAHIRA (JPN) 70-68-72-68, Mikumu HORIKAWA (JPN) 68-71-70-69, Suradit YONGCHAROENCHAI (THA) 70-67-68-73.
279 – Toshinori MUTO (JPN) 71-67-72-69, Masashi HIDAKA (JPN) 70-69-71-69.
Founded in 1973, Leopalace21 is a real estate company which constructs and rents apartments, currently managing 560 thousand rooms in Japan. The company also owns and operates a 36-hole golf course and resort facility in Guam, as well as 15 overseas offices which introduce residences and offices to Japanese companies advancing into the ASEAN region.
Leopalace21 Corporation: http://eg.leopalace21.com/
Leopalace Resort Guam: http://www.guam.ne.jp/
About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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