Shah Alam (Malaysia), Feb 27 (IANS) India’s Chikkarangappa S. settled for second place after a bogey on the last hole dashed his title aspirations at the PGM Northport Glenmarie Championship here on Saturday.
Young talent Gavin Green of Malaysia claimed his first professional victory after posting a five-under-par 67 on the final day at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
Chikkarangappa, who played with Green in all the four rounds, piled the pressure on the Malaysian with an eagle-birdie on the 16th and 17th holes. But a bogey right at the end proved to be his undoing. Chikkarangappa had one eagle and four birdies against two bogeys during his round.
The 22-year-old Green, who started the final round with a one-shot advantage, showed great resolve in getting the job done when he fired six birdies against a lone bogey to win by two shots with a total of 19-under-par 269.
Former Asian Development Tour (ADT) order of merit winner Pavit Tangkamolprasert of Thailand took third place following a final round 66 while compatriot Thammanoon Sriroj settled for fourth after returning the day’s best score of 65.
Chikkarangappa took the defeat in his stride as he was left to rue a missed opportunity to secure a third ADT title and also his first outside India.
“I didn’t get off to a good start. The putter was cold, especially on the front nine. But I got some momentum back after making birdies on 11 and 14. I sank a 20-footer eagle putt on 16 after punching my rescue from about 255 yards and I went on to birdie 17. That gave me a lot of confidence but unfortunately I didn’t finish well,” the 22-year-old Indian said.
“It was still a fantastic week for me nevertheless, especially playing with new clubs in the bag. I am taking a lot of positives from this week and looking forward to play in the upcoming events,” he added.
Green, who turned professional last June, was overjoyed to make up for the heartbreak in the last edition of this tournament when he was pipped to the title by one shot after holding a five-shot lead heading into the final round.
“I was feeling the pressure, especially after Chikkarangappa eagled 16. I knew the scores were close but I just can’t let anything go. I kept to my momentum out there and I trusted myself a lot. I was nervous but I told myself to stay focused. I just played my own game. I told myself not to focus on the outcome but on the process,” Green said.
The Malaysian took home the winner’s prize purse of US$8,341 and received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points courtesy his victory. This is his first professional victory on the Asian Development Tour. He had won on his domestic circuit as a professional last October.
“I made an important par-save on 17 from 15-feet which gave me a bit of confidence heading into the last. I hit it close on 18 and made a four-footer for birdie there. Chikkarangappa played awesome. I guess I was more fortunate.
“This win means a lot to me. It has been a slow start for me this season but this win will definitely give me more confidence in future. I am very thankful for the great support this week. My friends and family have been very supportive. Even my grandmother is here today,” Green added.
With golf set to be re-introduced as a medal sport at the Olympic Games which will be held in Rio de Janeiro this July, players in the region could ensure qualification by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.