Garcia Shines in the Rain to Win

Sun 16 Dec 2012

Garcia Shines in the Rain to Win

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Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia, December 16: Spain’s Sergio Garcia produced a master class performance by closing with a spectacular 11-under-par 61 to win the weather-shortened US$2 million Iskandar Johor Open on Sunday.


The tropical thunderstorms may have created havoc by reducing the tournament into a 54-hole contest but it was Garcia who showed he was still the one in control after winning his 24th professional victory with a winning total of 18-under-par 198.


American Jonathan Moore matched Garcia’s superlative efforts by also closing with a 61 to secure his second runner-up finish this season while Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee signed for his week’s best score of 65 to take third place at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club.


Overnight leader Daniel Chopra of Sweden had to settle for fourth place after a final 69.


Although Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant signed off with a 65 to take a share of fifth place, the 45-year-old also ended up a winner as he lifted the Asian Tour Order of Merit title for the second time since 2005.


Garcia came into the week as the highest ranked player and will leave his mark by writing a slice of history at the Asian Tour season-ending event.


The Spaniard’s closing 61 is the lowest final round by a winner in the Asian Tour history after he blitzed the course with seven birdies in his front-nine and a further four in his inward-nine.


However it will not be counted as an official record as the preferred lies rule was in play.


“It has been a long week obviously because of the weather and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the week. It has been a great experience as this is my first time in Malaysia and to be able to win is a treat,” said Garcia.


“The most important thing about playing under these kinds of conditions is to keep the momentum going especially with so much disruption. It’s hard to keep up mentally and I sort of did that yesterday morning where I finished poorly. But today, I came back strongly.I played very solid in my front-nine and made four in a row in the back-nine to give myself a nice solid lead going into the last two holes,” said Garcia.


It was also a day to remember for Moore who could not have scripted a better story with his 61 to end his season on a high.


Moore, who came through the Asian Development Tour as the number one player last year, started his spectacular run when he birdied two of his opening three holes.


He then parred his fourth hole before going on to reach the turn in 29 after carding further birdies on holes five, six, eight as well as an eagle-three on the ninth hole.

 

The American set the stage for an amazing finish when he stormed home with four more birdies on holes 12, 13, 15 and 16.


“It was a really special day. I had a clear focus today and felt good on the greens. It was probably the best I have ever done because I didn’t have any fear over any shots. It is probably one of those things in my career that you don’t doubt and worry where the ball might end up,” said Moore.


“It has been a good season. I’m just so thankful. It is hard to put it into words but it is such a huge blossom. This is my best score. I’ve shot two 62s before and won! But this time, there’s a guy named Sergio Garcia who also shot a 61. It was a lot of fun to do that today,” added the American.


Widely regarded as the Asian Tour’s most successful player with his unprecedented three Merit crowns, Thongchai kept pace with Garcia throughout the day with his flurry of birdies until the par-five 15th.


The Thai was let down by his putting after he failed to make more birdies to pile the pressure on Garcia.


“I hit most of the greens but it was only my putting which let me down. If I putted well, I would have a good chance of winning. I missed a lot of birdie putts on at least seven or eight holes,” said Thongchai who marked his card with eight birdies against one bogey.


While Thongchai could not end the year with another victory following his first victory in Europe in June, he believes he will be back to contend again after taking a well-deserved break.


“My confidence is up. I just need to practise my putter. This is my eighth tournament and I’m looking forward to a good holiday,” said Thongchai who leads the Career Earnings list with over US$4.5 million in winnings thanks largely to 13 Asian Tour victories.


The Iskandar Johor Open is presented by Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd, which is a government-linked company specifically incorporated to take on the role of master developer of prime waterfront properties in Johor Bahru.


About Iskandar Waterfront Holdings SDN BHD (IWH):

IWH is a government-linked company that was specifically incorporated to serve as the master developer of over 3,000-acres of prime waterfront land in Johor Bahru. The crown in the jewel of this integrated development will be Danga Bay. The master plan envisages six other components – The Gateway comprising two identical 34-storey residential blocks linked at the top by a skywalk; a landscaped riverside development known as The Venice; Danga Heights, which is set become Johor Bahru’s newest uptown lifestyle address; a high-end mixed development called Tebrau Coast on the eastern corridor of Johor Bahru; and JB Tanjung Puteri Waterfront, a commercial mixed development straddling both sides of the Causeway to Singapore. IWH is also developing a Marina & Beach Resort @ Desaru.


About The Iskandar Johor Open

The Iskandar Johor Open is one of the fastest-growing tournaments on the Asian Tour, and has attracted some of the best golfers in the world. The event was successfully staged at the Royal Johor Country Club for the first three years, and at Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club in 2010 and 2011.

It returns to Johor for the sixth time at Horizon Hills, where once again golf fans will be able to witness yet another exciting golf tournament which is staking its claim as one of the top events on the Asian Tour calendar.

Iskandar Malaysia and Johor Golf Association are continuing with their support of this event, and have created the biggest international event in Johor. Since the inaugural event in 2007, the prize money for the tournament has increased by five-fold from US$300,000 in 2007 to US$1,250,000 in 2010. In 2011, the prize money grew to a minimum of US$2,000,000 and will remain for 2012.



About The 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), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts), Cityneon (Official Event Overlay Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), BlackBerry (Official Smartphone and Tablet Partner) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.


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