Rising Star Byrne is the Best

Sat 02 Feb 2013

Rising Star Byrne is the Best

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Sungai Buloh, Selangor, Malaysia, February 2: James Byrne of Scotland sensationally won his first Asian Development Tour title at the PGM CCM Rahman Putra Masters with a sizzling five-under-par 67 on Saturday.
The 2011 Walker Cup star took advantage of a hot start where he was five-under through seven holes to finish the day two shots ahead of playing partner Quincy Quek of Singapore, who posted a 70 at the RM200,000 (approximately US$65,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Lam Chih Bing of Singapore and co-overnight leader Malcolm Kokocinski of Sweden settled for tied third following a 68 and 72 respectively at the event which is the first ADT tournament to receive Official World Golf Ranking points this season.
Following a successful Asian Tour Qualifying School campaign last week, Byrne took advantage of his fine form as he overcame a two-shot deficit with a hot putter and acute iron play to win his second professional title.
“I’m feeling good. I’ve been playing well in the last couple of weeks. I carried on the confidence from the Asian Tour Qualifying School even though I had a bad last day. I tried to take the positives from it and was able to take some confidence into this week,” said Byrne, who totalled 11-under-par 277 and won US$11,375.
“I remember last year Mardan (Mamat) won the first ADT event and he won pretty soon after that on the Asian Tour. I’m not putting any pressure to win again but every time you win, it is a good feeling because you can take confidence from that,” smiled the 24-year-old.
After his hot start, Byrne dropped two shots on the eighth hole but he steadied ship with a 20-foot birdie putt on nine before adding three further birdies against two bogeys.
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“I knew I could contend at this level and if I played well I would be up there. I got off to a really good start. I was five-under after seven holes. From that point I was already in a good position and knew I could play it a little bit safer coming in. I did double bogey the eighth hole but I came back with three other birdies. I didn’t let the double bogey get to me and I stayed positive,” said Byrne.
The 25-year-old Quek rued the missed opportunity of winning his second ADT title but was delighted with his runner-up finish in his first tournament of the year.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year after coming off cold from not playing for a month. James (Byrne) played great. He was pretty much in the lead after nine holes. He was burning the course,” said Quek.
“I was feeling a bit down until the 14th hole because nothing was happening. I was hitting it good and giving myself realistic chances but not making the birdies. Then I hit it close to 14 and had a birdie there. Saved par on 16th and birdied again on 17 from close range. It is nice to finish off that way after a day that was kind of mundane,” he added.
Nachimuthu, the 2011 PGM Tour number one, finished as the best placed Malaysian. He was two-under at the turn but returned two shots on his homeward nine as his putter turned cold.
“My putting was horrible but my hitting was okay. Overall my putter let me down I feel that I’ve been doing okay. I could have done slightly better but overall I’m still happy,” said Nachimuthu.
Leading fourth round scores
277 - James BYRNE (SCO) 71-71-68-67
279 - Quincy QUEK (SIN) 71-68-7070
280 - LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 69-70-73-68, Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE) 71-68-69-72
281 - Grant JACKSON (ENG) 69-72-73-67, R. Nachimuthu (MAS) 67-70-72-72,
Zaw MOE (MYN) 72-69-67-73
282 - Edward REYES (PHI) 69-74-69-70, Mitsuhiko HASHIZUME (JPN) 69-67-72-74
283 - S. Murthy (MAS) 68-74-72-69, Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 67-74-71-71
284 - Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 73-70-70-71, Rory HIE (INA) 71-69-72-72
285 - Shaaban HUSSIN (MAS) 70-71-72-72, Nick REDFERN (ENG) 68-74-69-74, Iain STEEL (MAS) 68-68-74-75
286 - Greg MOSS (USA) 71-75-68-72, Wolmer MURILLO (VEN) 68-72-76-70, Masaru TAKAHASHI (JPN) 73-68-71-74
Ends.
About the 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 Nationwide 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 three players on the Asian Development Tour will earn coveted Asian Tour cards for the following season, ensuring a proper career pathway for aspiring professionals. The ADT will also receive Official World Golf Ranking points from 2013.