Category: June Featured Published Date Written by Super User
At the first PGM-ADT event, the PGM CCM Impian Masters, Richardson carded rounds of 70-68- 76-70 and finished tied-33. At the next one, the PGM Johor Masters, he put up rounds of 72-72-75-71 for 17th place. The Englishman, who failed to get his Asian Tour card at the tour’s q-school early this year, has now won RM55,118 from the three ADT events and is now at number one on the ADT’s Order of Merit. The top three will earn full playing right on the 2013 Asian Tour. Two Malaysians, R. Nachimuthu and M. Rizal Amin, are now in the top-10 of the ADT Order Merit, Nachimuthu in fourth place, Rizal in seventh place.
Richardson, 28, from the city of Carlyle on the England/Scotland border, carded a three-69 final round and 18-under 270 for the tournament to take home winner’s cheque of RM31,500 and beat Malaysia’s Md Rashid Ismail by eight shots. In the final round Md Rashid and a few others had a lot of catching up to do because Richardson was up seven shots going into the final round and Korean Kim Ji-Hoon by eight, another Japanese, Go Nakauchi, by ten and Malaysia’s R. Nachimuthu by 11 shots.
While Richardson’s game never faltered Md Rashid could only add two more birdies to finish in second place with a two-under final round and 10-under 278 for the tournament. Richardson, who is a graduate in environmental science from Purdue University in the US and a product of college golf there, is also one of the pioneering players on the new MENA Tour in the Emirates. Last year Richardson, who at 17th, played in the qualifying rounds of The Open, finished second on MENA Tour’s Order of Merit and was given the chance to play for the first time in the European Tour’s Omega Desert Classic at the Emirates Golf Club.
At A’Famosa Richardson started his final round with an early scare when he bogeyed the par-5 554-metre fourth hole but then recovered with birdies at the seventh and ninth. He again made birdies at the 14th and that 25-footer putt at the last.
“I did feel a bit of pressure because a seven-shot lead is not much, but luckily my game was pretty solid, my goal is to play on the Asian Tour and this win will help me achieve that goal,” said Richardson. Meanwhile Rashid was disappointed that he could not surmount a late challenge to pip Richardson to the title. The Malaysian was left to rue several costly birdie chances as he marked his card with four bogeys and six birdies. “It was a roller-coaster day for me. There were several birdie chances which I failed to take advantage of and I think that cost me today,” said Rashid.
“Richardson played really well all- week and he’s the deserving winner,” added the Malaysian. The next best Malaysian was Ben Leong who shot a four-under 68 in the final round and five-under 283 for the tournament to finish in seventh place on his own and a good paycheck of RM5,580.
“I am glad to finish well, the result of my trip to Perth to visit my coach.”
One shot behind was R. Nachimuthu with a four-under 284 total for outright eighth place and a paycheck of RM4,680. Iain Steel, who had been struggling with his game for quite a while, had a good day at the office finishing on five- under 65 for the round and one-under 287 total to finish tied for 10th place. In the early round, after sharing the first round lead with Md Rashid and another Malaysian, Mohd Hanafiah Jamil, each with a five-under 67, Richardson took complete charge of the remaining three rounds with Md Rashid pursuing him.
Richardson began the final round with an overnight lead of seven shots, said “I am well aware that seven shots was not that big a lead, you just don’t know what is going to happen.” “My game was pretty solid today. I hit a lot of fairways and hit 13 greens in regulation and finished with 28 putts. That 25-foot birdie at the last was the best putt of the round,” added Richardson. “Peter played very well, he didn’t miss most of the putts for birdie,” said Rashid.
Nachimuthu, who was in fifth place after three rounds, finished in eighth for the tournament. Nachimuthu said, “I was twounder until the 17th but at the 395- metre par-4 18th I pulled my tee shot into the water on the left and finished with double-bogey, only even par.” Ben Leong said he was very happy to finish with a four-under 68 in the final round. “I felt good about my game especially distance control that I worked on with my coach. My iron play was good too.”
Iain Steel was a happy man after the fourth round when he carded a five-under 67 and one-under for the tournament that catapulted him from tied 26th after three rounds to tied 10th place for the tournament, thanks to a bit of acupuncture treatment to cure his lower back pain.
Among the big disappointments were Airil Rizman Zahari who was in tied 11th place after three rounds but dropped to 22nd for the tournament and Mohd Hanafiah Jamil who was co-leader with Richardson and Md Rashid at five-under 67 after the first round, but dropped to tied 47th for the tournament all due to a 13-over 85 in the third round.
Altogether 27 Malaysian players made the half-way cut but only three made it to the top-10 of the tournament. Among the big names that missed the cut were Saifubari Muda, S. Sivachandhran and Haziq Hamizan.
The highlight of the tournament was a hole-in-one on the second day at the 160-metre second hole by Korean youngster Park Jin-Woo using a 5-iron. He received special bonus of RM1,000.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 June 2012 05:04
Category: June Featured Published Date Written by Super User
Nachi makes It Four
By Saad hashim
Photography by Aswad Yahya
R. Nachimuthu shot a final round three-under 69 and five-under 283 total to win the RM200,000 2012 PGM Sabah Classic at Sabah Golf & Country Club, denying defending champion, Nicholas Fung, the local lad who was hoping to win again in front of his family and friends at the club where he first started to play the game.
With this win Nachimuthu has now won four titles on the PGM Tour which began in December 2010. During 2011 he bagged the PGM Penang Classic and the PGM Kinrara Masters and this year he bagged the PGM Clearwater Classic in a thrilling two-hole playoff with Shaaban Hussin. Last year Nachimuthu, in topping the Order of Merit, made RM159,166.50.
In a way Fung did not disappoint his family and friends when he lost to Nachimuthu by only a shot. He too had a final round three-under 69 for a four-under 284 total that included birdies at the 17th and 18th. His courageous fight to the finish was quite exemplary.
Starting the final round just one shot behind Nachimuthu, Fung was hoping to get a few birdies in the opening holes but instead parred them as he missed the greens while Nathimuthu was strolling along with birdies at the opening hole and again at the sixth and another at the 10th to pull away with a two shot advantage.
Fung finished the first nine three-under, just one shot behind going into the back nine. But this became two when Nachimuthu birdied the 10th. Fung was three-under until disaster struck at the 16th when he made bogey there to go back down to two-under. Fung did not give up. He knew the two-shot advantage enjoyed by Nachimuthu thus far, was no guarantee until the last putt.
Fung birdied the 17th to go back to three- under, just two behind Nachimuthu. Fung’s second shot at the par-5 459-metre 18th, finished just outside the green, about 15 feet from the pin, whereas Nachimuthu’s second finished on the slope on the right outside the green. With a difficult lie Nachimuthu made a bad chip to about 10 feet from the hole and was facing a downhill putt from the right side of the green. Nachimuthu was three-on.
Fung was facing an uphill chip for eagle. If Fung made his eagle and Nachimuthu failed to get his birdie, a playoff would then be the eventuality. Alas, Fung’s chip for eagle did not materialise and Nachimuthu now only needed two putts or better to win. He made par. Fung’s birdie was not good enough. He had to settle for runner-up.
Only Nachimuthu and Fung managed to card sub-par scores for the tournament.
“Today I just went out there to play one shot at a time to protect my lead. Fung played brilliantly except for his mistake at the 16 th,” said Nachimuthu.
“Right now I feel good about my game, “added Nachimuthu.
Fung said: “I tried my best. I shot the same score last year to win this tournament beating Danny Chia. It was a bit of a struggle on the front nine where I only made two birdies because my iron play was not so good. “That bogey at the 16th kind of changed things.” Meanwhile S. Sivachandhran, who started the final round five shots behind leader Nachimuthu, managed to reduce his deficit down to even-par at the fifth and one- under at the 12th. But disaster struck at the par-5 565-metre 14th. After a double-bogey there Sivachandhran was plagued by another at the par-4 404-metre 16th which sent him back to two-over.
Third placed Mohd Rizal Amin, who started five shots behind Nachimuthu, made three birdies but these were wiped out by four bogeys to finish one-over 73 for the round and four-over 292 for the tournament. Airil Rizman who started 11 shots behind Nachimuthu had a good round with seven birdies but he too was plagued by bogeys at the 183-metre par-3 eighth and finally at the dog-leg right par-5 459-metre 18th which pushed him back down to five-over overall for joint-fifth place with Haziq Hamizan and Wilson Choo.
Out of 59 players, including local amateurs who entered the tournament, 49 including three local amateurs made the half-way cut at 14-over 158. From the four-day scores of those who made the cut, there were only 27 rounds of even-par or better, and out of 196 rounds played by these there were only seven rounds of 67, 68 and 69.
Many rounds were in the 70s and 80s and the best amateur was Solomon Rosidin who carded 72-77-84-76 for 21-over 309 for the tournament.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 June 2012 05:04
Category: July Featured Published Date Written by Super User
PGM Melaka Classic
6-9 June 2012
Ayer Keroh Country Club, Melaka
Prize Money: RM125,000
Winner’s Purse: RM 21,000
By Saad Hashim, Pictures By Arep Kullal
Sukree Triumphs in Nail-Biting Finish
It finally came down to a 40-feet controlled chip with a 52-degree wedge, a gem of a short at the last par-5 hole that enabled Sukree Othman to secure his third victory in the current season of the two-year-old PGM Tour.
Sukree had survived the ‘pressure cooker’ final round to win the RM125,000 PGM Melaka Classic at Ayer Keroh Country Club here besting Nicholas Fung by just a shot.
It was also a “1Malaysia” championship group comprising Sukree, Fung and R. Natchimuthu.
Coming to the par-5 18th Sukree was hanging on to his one shot lead. Fung was three on the putting surface with a 20-footer on the right of the flag with a right sloping left putt. Sukree’s third was short of the green and ended up on a wet soggy cow-grass light rough and the lie was not great either.
A playoff was looming if Fung sunk his putt for birdie and Sukree missed his par. But both didn’t happen. Fung misjudged his tricky putt while Sukree came up with his magic shot which ended about a foot from the hole.
“You must mark your ball and putt for championship, Fung said to Sukree. After Fung made his par putt Sukree stepped forward to tap in his par for par and the crowd roared.
Sukree and Fung were overnight leaders with a 2-under 214 total, Natchimuthu, Airil Rizman and Ben Leong with one-under 215 and Khor even-par 216.
The looming battle royale was not only among the trio. Airil Rizman Zahari and Ben Leong who were only one shot behind and Khor Kheng Hwai (two behind), Solhairy Sharif (five behind) and Shaaban Hussin seven shots behind were also in the fray.
At the tough Ayer Keroh, despite the abundant supply of oxygen from its trees, some are quite old, scoring is definitely not easy. Every hole demanded great focus, great management and a bit of luck as well.
This is one place where players couldn’t afford to blink or the mind wandering away from the job at hand because missing the fairways and greens are simply out of the equation.
Thus in the end it turned out to be just a duel between Sukree and Fung while the rest of the challengers began to fizzle out pretty early.
After the first round Sukree took a three-shot lead over Ben Leong, thanks to his five-under 67 which almost created a new course record for Ayer Keroh. After the second day Sukree was still at the top of leaderboard with a one-shot lead over Ben Leong.
On the third day Fung fired a new course record six-under 66 to finish two-under and joint lead with Sukree who had a bad day at two-over 74 that reduced his advantage to just two-under.
Fung described his third-round exploit as “awesome”.
Starting the day at four-over for the tournament, eight shots behind overnight leader Sukree Othman, Fung, champion of PGM-Sabah and PGM-Sarawak in the last season, made five birdies on the front nine and the 10th on the back nine.
Most significant was his birdie at the super long par-5 604-metre 9th hole where birdies are quite rare. “I got it with driver to the centre of the fairway, hybrid to the centre of the fairway and pitching wedge to about four feet, “said Fung.
His other nice birdie was at the par-3 212-metre fourth where his drive finished pretty close. “It was a gimme, “added Fung. “Otherwise my overall game was quite awesome, “added Fung.
Sukree started the final round promisingly, birdied the first to go up to three-under and another one at the fifth to finish the front nine four-under. Fung also birdied the first to stay with Sukree at three-under.
But Fung’s Achilles Heel came at the easy par-5 sixth where his third shot finished well short of the green. A chip and two putts for bogey. After that Fung’s challenge began to fizzle out despite golden opportunities at the closing four holes.
After a birdie at the 11th to go five-under overall , Sukree suddenly opened the door to Fung where he bogeyed the 14th and 15th to go back down to three-under. He then birdied the 16th to go up to 4th under again but lost one again at the par-3 17 to go back to two-under.
With the door wide open at the 14th and 15th Fung couldn’t capitalize on it and finished his back nine playing par golf until the last where he again had a last chance to force a playoff.
By then the rest had also turned spectators dealing with problems of their own. Natchimuthu was alredy two-over for the tournament at the turn but his birdies at the 11th and the 18th was a salvation to finish even par overall together with Airil whose birdies at the 15th and 16th had saved his day.
Danny Chia did well on the last day with four birdies but those weren’t good enough because he went into the final round at eight-over and managed to climb up to eighth place.
Ben Leong finished with three-over 75 and two-over 290 in 6th place while S. Sivachandhran finished carded five-over 77 for the round and eight-over 296 overall at 12th place.
“It is so hard to score at Ayer Keroh, “ said Mohd Rizal Amin who finished two-over for the round and 14-over 302 for the tournament. That practically sums up the challenges of Ayer Keroh Golf & Country Club, designed by the Tun Ghaffar Baba, former Melaka’s Chief Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
In every Golf Malaysia poll Ayer Keroh was always voted one of the difficult courses in Malaysia and General Manager Abbas Yahaya and captain Md Rom Muslim are mighty proud of their course which they are trying to turn into a very eco-friendly golf course in the country.
Earlier Sukree bogeyed the par-3 17th to go back down to three under, thus opening another opportunity for Fung who was only one shot behind. Sukree Sukree was obviously full of nerves when he stepped on the tee box at the 517-metre par-5 18th.
The tee-shot was not his (Sukree) liking at all. The second shot was far from ideal as well and so also his third which missed the green and ended up in the soggy rough just outside the green on the right. He had another 40 feet to the pin. His chip with a 52 degree wedge to about one foot to the hole was a gem of a shot.
Fung had a good drive, good second and a great third shot that finished some 20 feet on the right side of the hole of the putting surface.
With a bit of borrow right to left, Fung missed his birdie putt. Sukree tapped in his one-foot putt for the championship.
This is Sukree’s third victory on the PGM Tour in the current season having previously clinched the PGM Kelantan Classic and PGM I&P Kinrara Classic three weeks ago. At Kinrara Sukree also shot Malaysia’s best professional tour record of 24-under and Kinrara’s new course record of 63.
“ I must admit I was feeling the pressure the whole day and was trying to avoid making mistakes but this is golf, mistakes can come at the most unexpected moment, “ said Sukree whose two-birdie blemish-free front nine to go up to four-under was damaged by the back nine.
With four-under into the back nine, Sukree even went up to seemingly comfortable five-under with birdie at the 11th. He suddenly dropped shots consecutively at at 14th and 15th to go back down to two-under He then birdied the 16th to go back up to three-under and went on to win the tournament with his exploits at the last.
Fung said he regretted for dropping shot at the 567-metre par-5 sixth where his third shot was well short of the degree and bogeyed it with two putts. “That’s my only regret otherwise I am happy with my game, “said Fung who received a RM500 bonus executing a new course record of 66 on the third round.
Nachimuthu who carded a one-over 73 on the final round declared, “Not my day, my rhythm is a bit off ,” which explained his four bogeys and three birdies for the day.
Airil Rizman Zahari was also plagued by five bogeys and four birdies for the day.
285 -3 Sukree Othman 67-73-74-71 RM21,000.00
286 -2 Nicholas Fung 74-74-66-72 RM14,125.00
288 E R. Nachimuthu 71-74-70-73;Airil Rizman Zahari 72-70-73-73 RM7,812.50 each
289 +1 Solhairy Sharif 77-70-72-70 RM5,500.00
290 +2 Ben Leong 70-71-74-75 RM4,500.00
292 +4 Khor Kheng Hwai 73-72-71-76 RM3,500.00
293 +5 Danny Chia 77-76-71-69; S. Murthy 74-73-78-68 RM2,650.00
294 +6 Shaaban Hussin 73-74-74-73 RM2,250.00
295 +7 Shaifubari Muda 73-73-76-73 RM2,057.00
296 +8 S. Sivachandhran 72-73-74-77 RM2007.00
297 +9 M. Sasidaran 77-72-75-73; Md Rashid Ismail 74-75-75-73; Wilson Choo 76-75-75-71 RM1,882.00
Last Updated on Sunday, 08 July 2012 04:41
Category: July Featured Published Date Written by Super User
During the four day tournament at the end of Ipoh-born Sukree carded PGA-standard scores of 69-63- 65-67 and four-day putts of 26-26-24-28. His nine-under 63 on the second day was also a new course record for Kinrara.
On March 24th last year Sukree, who had a chance to win, was quite angry with himself when he pulled his drive to the left and his ball ended at the foot of a tree. He was then leading rookie Mohd Iylia Jamil by one shot. Mohd Iylia was playing his first tournament after turning pro just one week earlier.
From that horrible lie Sukree had no shot to the green, so he just knocked it back out to the fairway. But his third ended up in the front bunker on the right. His misery continued when he thinned the bunker shot which ended up in another bunker in the back. He got out of that bunker and finished with a double bogey.
This time Sukree still made bogey on that last hole but it wasn’t a problem because that 24-under total was good enough for him to earn quite a bit of extra bonuses in addition to his winner’s cheque of RM21,000 by title sponsor I&P Group of Companies.
For these amazing achievements, five-foot-three Sukree, 34, who started golf as a caddy at Royal Perak, also received a bonus of RM10,000 from the club and another RM500 from the PGM Tour for setting the course record. Md Rashid Ismail was rewarded a similar amount when he carded a 10-under 62, a new course record at Impian Golf & Country Club last March.
The best winning score before this was by Danny Chua at 16-under 272 at the PGM Clearwater Classic in June last year. Sukree’s winning margin against second-placed Nicholas Fung was nine shots while Danny bested second-placed Md Rashid Ismail by four shots.
This victory was Sukree’s third PGM Tour title. Last year he bagged the PGM Harvard Classic and in the current season he had already won the PGM Kelantan Classic prior to the Kinrara victory.
Unfortunately Tun Ahmad Sarji bin Abdul Hamid, the Tour’s Chairman, who has been in attendance on the last day of every PGM event, was not able to come and watch Sukree’s brilliant game and to give away the prizes. However, Tun Ahmad Sarji did show up on Saturday.
The main prizes were given away by the CEO of PNB Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah and Managing Director of I&P Group of Companies Dato’ Ir Jamaluddin Osman.
Last season R. Nachimuthu, with total earnings of RM159,166.50 topped the PGM Tour Order of Merit. Sukree was in sixth place with total earnings of RM101,126.25.
The tournament also saw those who have been champions of previous PGM events like Nicholas Fung, R. Nachimuthu, Md Rashid Ismail, Airil Rizman Zahari, Danny Chia and Shaaban Hussin finishing in the top-10.
Fung and Ben Leong of Sabah finished second and third respectively with 15-under 273 and 12-under 276.
The irony was Sukree’s brilliant scores came while he was suffering from a cold and sore throat. ”In a way I am quite surprised myself that I could shoot these good numbers, at the start of this tournament I told my caddy that it was going to be a bit of a struggle because of this cold which started a few days before the tournament.
“So I just went out to play one shot at a time, avoiding all the troubles. Luckily every part of my game turned out well, especially my new putter. I feel really good about this new putter.”
Sukree’s caddy, Zainuddin Johori, a friend since they worked together as caddies at Royal Perak Golf Club in Ipoh, said, “Today is the best round I’ve been out with him. We understand each other very well. I didn’t have to do much work, everything turned out well.”
Earlier on Sukree, who was in joint fourth place after the first round, began the second round at the 10th tee and started to ‘burn’ the course immediately with three birdies in the first three holes and then again at the 17th and the 18th.
“After those birdies at the 17th and 18th, I started to feel really good about my game. Sure enough more birdies
came at second, fourth, seventh and ninth,” said Sukree.
After that Sukree never looked back and was able to maintain good management, not making any mistakes.
Starting the final round with a seven-shot advantage over Fung, Sukree played a steady game parring the three opening holes. He then made birdies at the fourth and the seventh
to go 21-under. On the back nine, he again parred the first three holes and then made four consecutive birdies from the 13th to the 16th to go to 25-under.
He went back down to 24-under when he pulled his drive into the valley on the right and bogeyed the hole. But 24-under was already a record breaker.
Fung, who eagled the par-5 10th, said that he was happy with his game “except my putting was a bit off today, but Sukree played very well.”
Ben Leong who also eagled the 10th said he was happy with his bogey-free game. “I could have had a few more birdies but unfortunately the putts were not dropping.”
Mohd Iszaimi Ismail, who finished in joint fourth position with a two-under 70 in the final round and five-under 283 total, said, “I am scoring well now since I met my new caddy who is also a club fitter. After caddying for me for the first time he told me that my irons were wrongly fitted. So he took my Irons and changed the lofts and lie angles and before I knew it I started to shoot 65 and 66. I am now very comfortable with my Irons.”
Meanwhile, the highlight of the last day was Nicholas Pua making two eagles, first at the 326-metre first hole and then at the par-5 492-metre 14th. His playing partner Alan Chin also made eagle at the 14th while their other playing partner, Kenneth de Silva, had a birdie.
Pua, who started from the tenth hole, said, “My first eagle at the 14th hole was driver and 5-wood which came close to the pin, while the second one at the 10th (first hole) was driver and a 100-yard-chip into the hole
“I also missed a hole-in-one by a few inches at the 161-metre fifth, “ said Pua who shot a six-under 66 for two-under 286 for the tournament. Up until round three he was in joint 24th position at four-over 220 for the tournament.
Another highlight was Malaysia’s
lady professional Ainil Johani Bakar was again given a one-off slot to play. Unfortunately Ainil missed the half- way cut by eight shots.
Ainil said that she needed to practice in as many professional tournaments as possible to realise her dreams of competing on the Asian Ladies Tour, Ladies European Tour and ultimately on the LPGA in the US.
“I am very thankful to PGM Tour Chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid for letting me play in this tournament,” said Ainil, who had no complaint about having to play from the Men’s tee.
This is the second time she was given a slot at a PGM Tour event. In November she was given a slot at the PGM Seremban Classic where she made the half-way cut and finished 49th.
Last Updated on Sunday, 08 July 2012 04:35