Selangor, Malaysia, April 4 - Kemarol Baharin won his first ASEAN PGA Tour title and third Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour event when he claimed the PGM UMW Impian Championship crown with a three-stroke victory today.
The 29-year-old from Kuala Lumpur shot a final round four-under 68 at Impian Golf & Country Club that gave him a 17-under 271 total and earned him the winner’s cheque of RM30,600 in the co-sanctioned event.
The Thailand pair of Settee Prakongvech (68) and Sutijet Kooratanapisan (70) finished joint runners-up on 14-under-par 274, while their compatriot and joint second round leader Natthapong Niyomchon (70) was fourth, a shot further back.
William Sjaichudin from Indonesia, who at 7-under still was in a top ten position at the midway point, fell back dramatically and finished in a tie for 31st place after rounds of 77 and 75. Compatriot Rudianto finished in 51st position at 12-over-par.
Pleased with his victory that came after a week’s break, Baharin said: “I am very happy to have won again.
“I think the week’s break from golf was really good for me. I played consistently well and I also got a few lucky breaks, which really helped me. Overall, my game was good as I did not feel much pressure and I think that was because of the break from the game. I hit the ball solid and when I did get into some trouble I also got a few lucky escapes.”
On a final day of low scoring Malaysian Shaaban Hussin equaled the course record of Rashid Ismail, carding a bogey-free 62 that comprised an eagle and eight birdies.
After rounds of 73, 69 and 73 over the first three days, Hussin settled for seventh place on 11-under 277.
Shaaban, who went out in the first flight of the day, had a run of six-under over the five-hole stretch from the second.
“I felt that there was nothing to lose,” he said. “And with no-one in front of us I just played as aggressively as I could and it worked out very nice.
“I parred the opening hole and then went birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie over the next five holes. I had another birdie at the par-four eighth to make the turn in seven-under-par.”
Hussin’s attack mode did not relent and he fired another three birdies on the back nine, at the 11th, 14th and 17th holes.
Despite this outstanding showing of golf, he said he still needed to practice.
“I need to practice more,” he said. “I need to become more consistent with rounds of golf like today. I must concentrate on shooting low for four days and not just one or two rounds a tournament,” added the 35-year-old.
Leading scores after the final round:
271 - Kemarol BAHARIN (MAS) 67-69-67-68
274 - Settee PRAKONGVECH (THA) 72-65-69-68, Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 69-67-68-70
275 - Natthapong NIYOMCHON (THA) 73-64-68-70
276 - R NACHIMUTHU (MAS) 72-66-66=72, Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) 69-65-69-73
277 - Shaaban HUSSIN (MAS) 73-69-73-62
278 - Pipatpong NAEWSUK (THA) 71-69-69-69
280 - Mohd Rizal AMIN (MAS) 70-70-69-71
281 - Tanatchan PUAKTES (THA) 70-73-68-70. Airil RIZMAN (MAS) 68-73-68-72
289 - William SJAICHUDIN (INA) 68-69-77-75
300 - RUDIANTO (INA) 300 76-70-78-76