Arie Irawan won his second Professional Golf of Malaysia Tour title and achieved it in three starts on the PGM circuit.
Following his win at the season-ending PGM Maybank Tour Players Championship in December, Arie clinched the RM200,000 Sime Darby Harvard Championship by a single stroke in Kedah today.
The 24-year-old, who turned pro almost one-and-a-half years ago and has been in good nick over the last 10 months or so, shot a fourth and final day four-under 68 to finish on 18-under 270.
The victory was no less than he deserved and it all started with a career-low 63 on the first day.
Happy with his triumph, Arie said afterwards: “This was a tough tournament to win as the field was very strong and we all know any of the 20-25 top players have a chance of winning it.”
Commenting on his game, Arie said he felt comfortable throughout the week and viewed his only round of the tournament outside of the 60s (a second day one-under 71) as a “good, but tough day at the office”.
“The first day was really great,” he said. “And then in the second round I was just happy to play under-par as I didn’t get many good breaks – but it was still good.
“On the third day (yesterday) I just tried to stay focused and I did. I was only one shot off the lead coming into today’s fourth round and knew I had to play steady, controlled golf if I was to get a chance of winning.”
He added that the eagle at the 3rd hole got his momentum going and he took it from there. A couple of bogeys were also offset by four birdies over the last 11 holes.
Arie said he would now turn his attention to playing well at the Maybank Malaysian Open, which starts at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club on Thursday, where the home nation has 18 pros in the field.
“That is our national Open so all of us in it will be trying to do our best,” he said. “It will not be easy as it’s a tournament run by the Asian Tour and European Tour. But it should also be a good experience and one that we can learn from.”
Sukree Othman, also of Malaysia and the overnight leader, fired a two-under 70 to finish joint runner-up alongside New Zealand’s Sean Riordan, who carded a last round 67. They were on 17-under 271.
For Sukree it was a second runner-up spot in two events, following his exploits at the Kinrara Closed Championship last week where he led after the second round.
South African Mathiam Keyser shot a second successive 69 for a 273 total in fourth place. Sweden’s Oskar Arvidsson also had a fourth day 69 and was fifth on 14-under 274.
Three Malaysians – Shaaban Hussin (66), Danny Chia (71) and Kemarol Baharin (72) – were tied for sixth with South Africa MJ Daffue (67) on 13-under 275.
Following the Maybank Malaysian Open, the PGM Tour will move to Langkawi for the LADA Championship from February 11-14.
Leading Fourth Round Scores
270 Arie Irawan (Mas) 63-71-68-68
271 Sean Riordan (NZl) 70-68-66-67, Sukree Othman (Mas) 70-65-66-70
273 Mathiam Keyser (SA) 70-65-69-69
274 Oskar Arvidsson (Swe) 69-66-70-69
275 Shaaban Hussin (Mas) 70-70-69-66, Mj Daffue (SA) 70-68-70-67, Danny Chia (Mas) 69-68-67-71, Kemarol Baharin (Mas) 70-69-64-72
276 Terumichi Kakazu (Jpn) 66-74-67-69, Masaru Takahashi (Jpn) 69-69-67-71
277 Grant Jackson (Eng) 68-71-69-69, Casey O’toole (US) 71-68-69-69, Shaifubari Muda (Mas) 69-69-68-71, Steve Han (US) 71-68-66-72
278 Hamza Amin (Pak) 72-70-70-66, Matt Killen (Eng) 72-68-70-68, Darren Tan (Aus) 69-69-70-70, Janne Kaske (Fin) 67-73-68-70, Brett Munson (US) 72-64-71-71