Overnight leader R. Nachimuthu won the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s RM180,000 Kelantan Closed Championship in a playoff on the east coast today.
Nachimuthu shot a last round one-under 71 at Kelantan Golf & Country Club to finish on seven-under 281, where he was matched by Shaaban Hussin – the latter firing the low round of the day, an outstanding five-under 67.
That set up the playoff, which went to three holes after both players parred the first two. At the third extra hole Nachimuthu birdied his effort to secure the win and understandably was delighted with the outcome.
“This was a tough victory,” he said. “Some players win by big margins, but I seem to always have a tough time winning. But I am still very happy to have won.
“Shaaban played well but I’m happy that I managed to do it in the end.”
Looking back at his form, Nachimuthu said that he played well the past couple of weeks and added: “Last week (at Nilai Springs) I hit the ball well but my iron shot was just not spot-on, the way I played here this week.”
Despite coming up just short, Shaaban said: “I’m happy with how I played, especially today. I’m a little disappointed to have lost in the playoff, but I’m pleased to have shot such a low score in the last round.
“That is my goal these days – to shoot low in the last round and give myself a chance at winning again,” added the player who won in Melaka towards the back end of last season.
Airil Rizman’s fourth day 72 earned third place with a four-under 284 total, while Nicholas Fung (68) and Akhmal Tarmizee (72) were joint fourth, another shot back.
Young Low Khai Jei carded a final round 70 to finish alone in fifth place – the best the amateur has yet and what an inspiring performance it was. He posted a 286 total.
The lad has finished in the top-10 before but this has been his best yet and given his display, there surely will be more and better things to come from him.
The next stop on the PGM Tour is the Terengganu Championship at Resorts World Kijal, starting next Wednesday. The RM200,000 tournament is co-sanctioned with the Asian Development Tour and carries world ranking points.
Leading Fourth Round Scores
281 *Nachimuthu 68-72-70-71, Shaaban Hussin 72-69-73-67
284 Airil Rizman 71-69-72-72
285 Nicholas Fung 74-73-70-68, Akhmal Tarmizee 71-70-72-72
286 Low Khai Jei (A) 71-75-70-70
287 Sukree Othman 74-71-72-70
288 M. Azman Basharudin 70-74-73-71, Kemarol Baharin 72-72-71-73
289 M. Rizal Amin 70-74-71-74, S. Murthy 68-69-76-76
290 Wilson Choo 69-73-74-74
291 Iylia Jamil 73-75-75-68, Kim Leun Kwang 75-74-68-74
292 M. Wafiyuddin 72-75-75-70, Irfan Yusoff 74-72-70-76
293 M. Alwarith Damian 73-72-70-78
294 Hans Jamil 72-73-74-75
295 Solomon Emilio 76-74-74-71