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PGM I&P TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS final
Kemarol Wins Season Opener
Champion holds his nerve to hold off Sukree in final round
KEMAROL Baharin won his second PGM Tour title with a one-stroke victory in the RM200,000 I&P Tournament of Champions at Templer Park Country Club in Rawang today.
Leader after the second and third days, Kemarol shot a final round 71 to finish on six-under-par 282. The Kuala Lumpur-born player collected a cool RM40,000 for his efforts and it fulfilled his aim of securing an early win this season.
Kemarol’s triumph is his first since he clinched his maiden PGM Tour win at the Kelantan Classic in 2011 and it left him a relieved man.
“I am happy to have won today,” said the 28-year-old Kemarol, who added that he had recovered fully from a back and lung ailment that sidelined him for much of past couple of years. “It was my goal to try and win early in the season and then go on to maybe win another during the course of the year. So to do it at the first attempt is really nice.”
Sukree Othman, who led after the first round, fired a two-under 70 to claim second place, a stroke ahead of Englishman Grant Jackson, who started the day a shot behind Kemarol and finished with an even-par 72. He was third on four-under for the tournament on 284.
A four-under 68 earned Shaaban Hussin fourth place, as he finished on three-under 285.
R. Nachimuthu was fifth on even-par 288. He carded a last day three-over 75, while Danny Chia bounced back from his third day (78) disaster to tie the best round on the last day – a four-under-par 68 that nailed down joint sixth place with Masara Takahashi (70) of Japan, S. Murthy (71) and Airil Rizman (73).
Sukree, seeking a sixth title on Tour, said he started out “a little shaky” but found his rhythm later to hold on at the end for the runner-up’s spot, which came with a RM25,000 cheque in an event designed solely for winners on the Tour. In all, there were 21 players in the field.
“I did not putt too well and it cost me,” said Sukree. “But after that I sunk a few putts that helped.”
Jackson, who went home with RM14,000, lamented what he called an “off-day”. The 32-year-old from Leeds, England, was one-over for the front nine, which came after a birdie and two bogeys, and he did not really recover from it.
“But that is how golf goes,” said the Thailand-based Englishman. “Now I will look forward to the Asian Tour Qualifying School (next month). My priority will be to try and secure full playing rights on that Tour, but even if I do, I will still play some of the ADT events on the local Malaysian circuit,” he added.
The next stop on the PGM Tour is the RM160,000 Swiss-Garden Closed Championship at Damai Laut Golf & Country Club in Lumut, Perak from February 12-15.
Final Round Scores
282 Kemarol Baharin (Mas) 69-67-75-71
283 Sukree Othman (Mas) 67-72-74-70
284 Grant Jackson (Eng) 71-72-69-72
285 Shaaban Hussin (Mas) 72-73-72-68
288 R. Nachimuthu (Mas) 70-71-72-75
290 Danny Chia (Mas) 74-70-78-68, Masaru Takahashi (Jpn) 70-75-75-70, S. Murthy (Mas) 72-78-69-71, Airil Rizman (Mas) 74-73-70-73
291 Peter Richardson (Eng) 75-71-72-73
292 Kenneth De Silva (Mas) 75-72-72-73
293 Md Rashid Ismail (Mas) 76-70-74-73, Ryan Bulloch (Aus) 72-71-75-75
294 Shaifubari Muda (Mas) 73-75-73-73
296 Anis Helmi Hassan (Mas) 76-74-75-71
297 Wilson Choo (Mas) 75-74-73-75
298 S. Sivachandhran (Mas) 78-74-75-71, Mitsuhiko Hashizume (Jpn) 72-76-76-74
300 Akhmal Tarmizee (Mas) 76-75-72-77
301 Iylia Jamil (Mas) 71-78-78-74
308 Iain Steel (Mas) 77-77-76-78