Fung holds on for narrow win in Match Play Championship
|R. Nachimuthu S. Siva Chandhran Nicholas Fung Shaifubari Muda|
In an entertaining final of the RM180,000 Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) I&P Match Play Championship at Kinrara Golf Club in Puchong, Selangor today, Nicholas Fung prevailed with a narrow win over Shaifubari Muda.
It was a titanic battle that saw the top-seeded Fung, who also leads this season’s PGM Tour Order of Merit, which he extended with this victory, emerge unscathed with the title and a winner’s cheque of RM30,600.
In the playoff for third place, R. Nachimuthu’s vast experience saw him come through with a 3&1 win over S. Siva Chandhran, who forced to settle for fourth place a cheque of RM9,000.
In the final it looked like a one-sided affair early on as Fung stormed to a 4up lead over Shaifubari. However, a seasoned campaigner himself, Shaifubari fought back and reduced the deficit to just one hole. That was after the 15thhole where the underdog chipped in for birdie from just off the green.
That was the last Shaifubari would have at making any inroads into Fung’s lead. And while he held for a little longer, Shaifubari came up just after a gallant effort in a closely fought final.
“I’m happy with how played this week,” said Fung. “I’ve been hitting the ball real solid and my approach play especially has been very good for some time now.
“This (match play) tournament is interesting and a lot of fun. It’s all about playing well or getting knocked out – and that’s what makes it so exciting.”
Shaifubari also said he was pleased with his week’s work, despite falling just short in the final.
“I played well over the weekend – (in the quarterfinals and semifinals) yesterday and (the final) today.
“Today’s because even though I played well, I also made a couple of mistakes and Nicholas also played well. But I’m still happy with how it went, even though I lost in the final.
“I’ve taken a lot of confidence from this tournament and hopefully I can use that when we travel to Sabah and Sarawak over the next two weeks,” added Shaifubari, who pocketed RM22,000 and has played some good golf of late and had a 61 not more than a few weeks ago.
Nachimuthu, who was 1 down after nine holes in the playoff, before storming back with a fine back nine, lamented a “poor performance in the semifinals” where he narrowly lost to Shaifubari.
“I played well except in the semifinals,” said Nachimuthu, who went home with RM11,600 for his third-place finish.
“But I will accept it as it has been a reasonably good week, even if I didn’t win it. I had some form and I hope it continues with greater consistency.”
Siva Chandhran said he was just “happy to in good form again”.
“I am not travelling (to and from Perak, where his family is) as much and that has made it better for me to train more,” pointed out Siva Chandhran. “And I think it’s beginning to show results.”
Last week he had a fourth place finish at the Impian Closed Championship, same as this week.
The next PGM Tour event is the Sabah Closed Championship at Sabah Golf & Country Club, Kota Kinabalu fromAugust 10-13.
Results – Final
Nicholas Fung bt Shaifubari Muda 2&1
R. Nachimuthu bt S. Siva Chandhran 3&1