CIMB Rewind: Moore Power

Tue 28 Oct 2014

CIMB Rewind: Moore Power

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Kuala Lumpur, October 28: The US$7 million CIMB Classic, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour, returns to the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. We take a look back at year's showpiece.
American lifts CIMB title, Kiradech wins fans’ hearts 
Ryan Moore may have emerged as a worthy winner at a star-studded CIMB Classic but it was Kiradech Aphibarnrat who stood out as the people’s champion.
Moore needed a Monday morning play-off at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s West course to settle matters with Gary Woodland, using an exquisite eight iron approach that set up the winning birdie from three feet.
It ended a gripping contest which saw a slew of world-class names including Major winners and Ryder Cup heroes gathering for Asia’s first official FedExCup event.
Kiradech produced a standout performance amongst the stars, earning the praise of great players such as Phil Mickelson and K.J. Choi after he finished tied third, just one shot outside the play-off duo.
It was indeed another magnificent week for the big Thai whose stock in the world of golf has risen throughout a glorious 2013.
The big-hitting Kiradech, who had earlier in the season won his second Asian Tour title at KLGCC, was the talk of the town throughout the week as he brilliantly played his way into contention with his go-for-broke attacking game.
And for the last nine holes of the mega event, his fans were kept on the edge of their seats as he agonisingly missed birdie after birdie opportunities to eventually end his campaign on 13-under-par 275.
While Kiradech was the fan favourite, the ever unassuming Moore deservingly took home the winner’s cheque of US$1.26 million when he edged Woodland on the first hole of a sudden-death play-off.
Moore and Woodland closed with a 70 and 69 respectively in the final round but fading light forced the event into a Monday finish which the former triumphed after taking a four to end the contest at the par five 18th hole.
“Playing a play-off with someone like Gary, I know I don’t want it to last very long,” said a delighted Moore.
It proved to be an roller-coaster ride for Moore, who got up and down for a crucial par at the 72nd to ensure a play-off.
“I was a little bit jacked up because I just made an amazing up and down on the 18th hole (on the previous day) to just tie and get into the play-off. So I had that little bit of adrenaline, and it was more getting that out of the system than nerves for this morning,” he added.
Woodland was left to reflect on a missed birdie chance on the 72nd hole for the outright victory. In extra-time, he missed the green in regulation which opened the door for Moore to claim a third career win on the PGA TOUR.
“It was tough. It was a long hole, and Ryan hit a great shot in there and obviously made a good birdie. But I thought I hit a pretty good shot on the third, just obviously coming out of the rough, and came up a little short,” said a disappointed Woodland.
Kiradech took great pride with his joint third finish, which virtually sealed the Asian Tour Order of Merit crown. He eclipsed many to names including Mickelson, Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson, Nick Watney, Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els.
“I’m very proud of the way I played. My goal was like top five or top 10, so I’m happy. I haven’t played this well since after I won the Malaysian Open, and I have a lot of family here, my mom, my dad, my sister and a lot of golf fans supported me really well. It feels like home, Malaysia.  I love it,” said Kiradech.