Crane Lifts CIMB Title

Sun 31 Oct 2010

Crane Lifts CIMB Title

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Kuala Lumpur, October 31: American Ben Crane holed a pressure-packed eight foot birdie putt at the last hole to lift the inaugural CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia title by one stroke on Sunday.
The overnight leader battled to a two-under-par 69 to edge a fast-finishing Brian Davis of England, who fired a sizzling 66 which included an eagle and two birdies in his last three holes at the Mines Resort and Golf Club.
England’s Luke Donald, who shared the lead until a costly triple bogey on nine, tied for third with Scotland’s Martin Laird, a further stroke back, while Singapore’s Mardan Mamat picked up his biggest career cheque by finishing tied fifth on his 43rd birthday.
Three-time Major winner Ernie Els of South Africa stormed home with four closing birdies for a 66 to also finish tied fifth alongside Australia’s Robert Allenby and American trio D.J. Trahan, Rickie Fowler and Ryan Moore.
The 36-year-old Crane turned in 33 to open up a comfortable three-shot lead but wobbled from the 12th hole with three straight bogeys. With Davis finishing strongly, Crane regained his composure by hitting the green with a mighty drive on the short par four 15th hole for an eagle from seven feet.
Tied for the lead with one to play, Crane held his nerve to produce a winning birdie at the 72nd hole and pocketed a cool US$1 million in the first ever event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour.
“This has been a really special week, from the time we arrived till now. I had a great opportunity with that putt (on 18) which I’ll always remember. I was so nervous and I was just praying. I just wanted to hit a good putt and to see it go into the hole, it felt so good,” said Crane, who ended the week on 18-under-par 266.
“I just regrouped (after 12) and didn’t get ahead of myself. I knew I was still in the tournament. I hit an unbelievable shot on 15 with my driver and that kind of turned things around. It was an exciting turnaround. That was an unbelievable finish,” said Crane, who has won three previous PGA Tour title.
Davis had the large galleries by the edge of their seats with a glorious finish. The Englishman, the last man to get into the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia, could only tip his cap to the champion at the end of the day.
“I played good all week and kept myself in the hunt. Finished strong but it just quite wasn’t good enough. I am quite disappointed,” said the Englishman, who is still searching for a first PGA Tour victory.
“I missed a short putt on the par four 15th (for bogey) which was a big error there. But I managed to dig deep for birdie, eagle, birdie finish and thought it might be good enough to get me into a play-off. But congratulations to Ben. Hopefully I’ll get my turn next time.”
World number eight Donald rued two poor tee shots which cost him a chance of winning the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia. “I gave it my all out there. I pulled my tee shot slightly on nine as I was being aggressive with my three wood and I couldn’t find my ball among the trees. I made seven there which was disappointing and my bogey on 15 wasn’t very good either,” said the Ryder Cup star.
Singapore’s Mardan made it a birthday to remember by picking up US$237,500, his biggest payday of his career. “It’s is a good birthday gift but I’m a bit disappointed with my putting. I couldn’t hole any putts but I was solid from tee-to-green,” said Mardan, winner of two Asian Tour titles.
“I’m very happy because I worked so hard to get into this tournament and I’m very pleased to finish in the top-10. I stayed patient the whole day and couldn’t hole a putt but I still kept trying and from my results this week, you can see that my patience had paid off.”
Els lived up to his star billing with four closing birdies to finish in a share of fifth place on 270 and gave credit to CIMB for putting on a stellar show in the inaugural year.
“Today, I was really, from tee to green, I was on fire. I don’t think I missed a green all day. I had many opportunities on the front nine and kind of got frustrated around the turn but obviously the finish was good,” said the Big Easy.
“Everybody, the setting, the sponsor, all of them got involved. It was a great success. I think from now, they can take it to the next level and you know, it’s a sign for the bigger names to come from the US Tour. In time, I think everybody will eventually come, I think even Tiger (Woods) and Phil (Mickelson).”
The title sponsor of the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic, Malaysia is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of Southeast Asia’s leading universal banking franchises. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur with key offices across South East Asia, CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com.
Complete Round Four Scores
266 - Ben Crane (USA) 67-64-66-69
267 - Brian Davis (ENG) 65-70-66-66
268 - Luke Donald (ENG) 67-67-67-67, Martin Laird (SCO) 66-69-67-66
270 - Ryan Moore (USA) 64-68-69-69, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 66-70-65-69, D.J. Trahan (USA) 67-67-68-68, Rickie Fowler (USA) 68-67-68-67, Ernie Els (RSA) 67-68-69-66, Robert Allenby (AUS) 72-66-68-64
271 - Ricky Barnes (USA) 63-69-69-70, Siddikur (BAN) 69-68-65-69, Adam Scott (AUS) 69-65-69-68, Tom Gillis (USA) 69-66-69-67
272 - Carl Pettersson (SWE) 65-68-66-73, Kevin Streelman (USA) 69-66-67-70
273 - J.B. Holmes (USA) 73-67-66-67
274 - Charlie Wi (KOR) 65-70-70-69, Tim Clark (RSA) 67-69-69-69, K.J. Choi (KOR) 70-69-66-69
275 - Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 73-67-64-71, Kevin Na (USA) 70-71-67-67, Retief Goosen (RSA) 69-69-71-66
276 - Y.E. Yang (KOR) 72-69-66-69, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 68-75-66-67
277 - Pariya Junhasavasdikul (THA) 66-65-71-75, Arjun Atwal (IND) 68-71-69-69, Bill Haas (USA) 72-69-69-67
278 - Michael Sim (AUS) 67-69-69-73, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 66-69-74-69, Marcus Fraser (AUS) 70-72-70-66, John Senden (AUS) 71-71-71-65
279 - Ryan Palmer (USA) 72-70-65-72, Thaworn Wiratchant (THA) 71-66-72-70, Marc Leishman (AUS) 70-72-69-68
280 - Noh Seung-Yul (KOR) 71-69-65-75, Heath Slocum (USA) 68-69-71-72, Tetsuji Hiratsuka (JPN) 71-70-69-70
283 - Lam Chih-Bing (SIN) 69-72-72-70
285 - Shaaban Hussin (MAS) 72-72-70-71
For further information, please call the Asian Tour’s Doyle De Costa and Chuah Choo Chiang at the media centre tel: +6012 265 4700. Also visit www.asiantour.com
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 J.Lindeberg (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Royal Selangor (Official Trophy Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Pan Pacific (Official Hotel) and Srixon (Official Ball).
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour. The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
In 2010, the three Tours collectively have tournaments in 34 states and in 12 countries outside of the U.S. PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to nearly 600 million households in 225 countries and territories and in 30 languages.
Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2009, tournaments on the three Tours generated $108 million for local charitable organizations. The TOUR’s all-time total of charitable contributions is approaching $1.5 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the company is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
About Professional Golf Association of Malaysia
The PGA of Malaysia is the governing body of professional golf in Malaysia with a membership of 280 touring and vocational pros.
About Mines Resort & Golf Club
The Mines Resort & Golf Club is a proprietary Club beneficially owned and operated by the Mines Excellence Golf Resort Berhad.
Established in 1993 through the vision of its founder, Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, and the expertise of legendary architect, Robert Trent Jones Jr., it was transformed from the world’s largest open cast tin mine into an international championship standard 18 Hole golf course in 1993. The green was left to mature for a year with maintenance of the highest standards.
The award-winning 246 acre, Par 71 course has hosted numerous international championships such as the World Cup Golf in 1999, the Women’s World Cup Golf in 2000 and soon, the upcoming CIMB Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia, Southeast Asia’s first PGA TOUR sanctioned event, from 28 - 31 October 2010.
With a by invitation only policy, its membership profile consists of Royalties, Cabinet Ministers, Captains of Industries and principally, the nation’s elite. The Mines Resort & Golf Club provides world-class facilities together with uncompromised personalised services thus possessing the singular distinction of being the most celebrated golf destination in Malaysia for the elite, the exclusive and the eminent.