Rizal Amin came from five shots back to win the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour’s RM250,000 MIDF Championship at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club today.
The 29-year-old, who came close with several top-three finishes since he turned pro at the beginning of 2011, pulled off a dramatic playoff victory over Peter Richardson at the first extra hole of a sudden-death shootout.
In joint second place at the start of the fourth round, which was delayed by two hours due to rain, Rizal fired a closing three-under-par 68 to draw level with Richardson on eight-under 276. And he did it the hard way – carding four birdies and a bogey in a round that saw him birdie the 72nd hole with a 20-foot putt.
After the two players returned to the 18th hole for the playoff, Rizal found the fairway, while 30-year-old Richardson from Carlisle in northern England, drifted to the right, from where he found the edge of the green and could not hole-out from there.
The Malaysian, meanwhile, left his second shot some 30 feet from the flag and he duly buried the birdie putt for his first victory on the Tour, one that came with a cheque worth RM43,750.
He subsequently broke down and spoke with a cracking voice – and tears of joy.
Probed on what made the difference today, Rizal said he just “stayed patient” and as his confidence grew he felt more in “the zone”.
“It was tough out there,” he said. “But I remained patient and was able to sink a couple of big putts, especially on the last hole and of course, in the playoff.”
“I am very happy to have won at last and I am happy for my coach and parents, who always told me to stick to what I was doing.”
For Richardson it was nothing but despair. He led the tournament in each of the first three rounds – during which he carded 66s on the first and third day.
“I just played poorly,” said Richardson, who collected RM28,750 for his runner-up effort. “My driving was nowhere near as good as it could have been – I hit the ball all over the place.”
Malaysian Kemarol Baharin posted the low round of the day, shooting a five-under 66 when most of the field found the going more difficult than any of the first three days. His week’s work earned him third place and RM17,500.
The next and last stop on the PGM Tour’s calendar for this year is the Players Championship at Impian, from December 10-13.
Leading Fourth Round Scores
276 Rizal Amin (Mas) 68-70-70-68, Peter Richardson (Eng) 66-71-66-73
280 Kemarol Baharin (Mas) 72-70-72-66
282 Shaaban Hussin (Mas) 73-72-70-67, Nakarintra Ratanakul (Tha) 67-73-71-71, Mitsuhiko Hashizume (Jpn) 67-74-69-72, R. Nachimuthu (Mas) 73-66-70-73, Brett Munson (US) 71-69-68-74
284 Casey O’toole (US) 71-75-70-68 , Kevin Marques (Aus) 72-69-74-69, Airil Rizman (Mas) 68-73-72-71
285 Michael Moore (Aus) 73-70-71-71, Lindsay Renolds (Can) 70-69-72-74, 286 Atthaphon Sriboonkaew (Tha) 75-69-72-70, S. Siva Chandhran (Mas) 71-72-75-68, Kenneth De Silva (Mas) 72-70-72-72 ,Piya Swangarunporn (Tha) 73-69-72-72, Chang Tse-Peng (Twn) 70-70-69-77