Melaka, Malaysia, June 29: Young Korean Joohyung Kim birdied three of his closing four holes to post a six-under-par 66 and secure his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) win in the final round of the PGM ADT Championship @ Tiara Melaka on Saturday.
The 17-year-old Korean held his nerve to convert his multiple close calls this season into a stunning six-shot victory with his four-day total of 23-under-par 265 at the RM 225,000 (US$54,000) event staged at the Tiara Melaka Golf and Country Club.
Japan’s Naoki Sekito put up a strong final-day charge to card a flawless 66 which included an eagle on hole 16 to take a share of second place with Malaysia’s Sukree Othman (68). Sekito moved up to take over the top spot on the ADT Order of Merit following his strong finish.
Malaysia’s Amir Nazrin produced the shot of the day when he scored his first professional ace on hole four with his nine-iron from 176 yards. He went on to sign for an eventual 73 to end his campaign in tied-32nd.
“It feels so great to finally win, like I said I’ve come so close so many times and to be able to finish it off despite all the pressure I felt today is fantastic,” said Kim, who took home a winner’s purse of US$9,529.28 and received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points while the other top six players and ties earned points based on a sliding scale.
Kim returned this morning to finish three holes for a third-round 67 and brought a four-shot lead into the final round. He traded seven birdies against one bogey to become the second Korean to ever win on the ADT following countryman Seung Park.
“I came into the final round with and then started off with a bogey. I just told myself to stay patient and to just do the best that I can. Coming to end of the round I just knew I was in control and the pressure slowly went away,” added Kim, who is also a two-time winner on the Philippine Golf Tour.
Prior to this week, Kim was knocking hard on the door to his first ADT victory with three top-five finishes this year highlighted by a joint runner-up result in Thailand last month.
Displaying the maturity of an experienced Tour golfer despite only joining the play-for-pay ranks last year, the young Kim was glad to finally get the job done.
“I was in the eighth spot on the Order of Merit before this week. I’m glad to finally move into the top-seven and hopefully I can win a couple more events this year to stay up there,” added the Korean, who moved up to take the third spot on the Merit list.
Leading final round scores :
265 – Joohyung Kim 69 63 67 66
271 – Naoki Sekito 70 65 70 66, Sukree Othman 70 66 67 68
273 – Panuwat Muenlek 71 68 69 65, Chinnarat Phadungsil 70 68 66 69
275 – Shahriffuddin Ariffin 70 67 71 67, Ben Leong 68 69 70 68
Melaka, Malaysia, June 28: Korea’s Joohyung Kim remains the man to beat as he holds a four-shot lead following a five-under-par 67 at the penultimate round of the PGM ADT Championship @ Tiara Melaka on Friday.
The 17-year-old Korean only managed to finish 15 holes before play was abandoned for the day at 7.16pm due to fading light at the RM 225,000 (US$54,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
He was among 11 players who resumed their third rounds at 7.30am on Saturday morning at the Tiara Melaka Golf and Country Club.
Kim, who joined the play-for-pay ranks in 2018, compiled a three-day total of 17-under-par 199 to stay in position for his maiden ADT victory. Two players trail behind him in second place after posting matching 67s. They include Fiji’s Sam Lee and Malaysia’s Sukree Othman.
Kim, who set the course ablaze with a stunning 63 in the second round, extended his hot form with three birdies in his opening nine holes to make the turn in 33. He went on to nail birdies on holes 10, 13 and 16 before dropping his first shot of the day on hole 17 for inward 34.
“I started off with two good holes after making birdie putts inside five feet. It was another stress-free round today thanks to my short game and I was hitting it much better,” said Kim, who is a two-time winner on the Philippine Golf Tour.
“I made a good par save on hole five from the bunker which was my best shot of the day and two more birdies before it got dark. Overall I am in good position but I don’t want to think about it because there is another day tomorrow and it is not over till it’s over.
“I have been in this position a couple of times already this season, hopefully it will be my time tomorrow,” added the young Korean, who is based in Thailand.
Leading third round scores:
199 – Joohyung Kim 69 63 67
203 – Sam Lee 70 66 67, Sukree Othman 70 66 67
204 – Chinnarat Phadungsil 70 68 66
205 – Naoki Sekito 70 65 70
Melaka, Malaysia, June 27: Young Korean talent Joohyung Kim signed for his season’s best nine-under-par 63 to take control at the halfway stage of the PGM ADT Championship @ Tiara Melaka on Thursday.
The 17-year-old Korean compiled a two-day total of 12-under-par 132 with his blemish-free round highlighted by nine birdies at the RM 225,000 (US$54,000) Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.
Play was abandoned for the day at 7.15 pm local time due to weather disruptions in the first round that had resulted in a delay of tee times. Kim holds the halfway lead by one shot over American Trevor Simsby (68) in second place while Japan’s Naoki Sekito sits in third place following a 65.
A total of 66 players resumed their second rounds at 7.30am on Friday at the Tiara Melaka Golf and Country Club. The third and penultimate round is scheduled to start at 11am.
Returning this morning to complete the remaining 12 holes in his first round, Kim took advantage of a hot putter to make up for his mediocre long game.
“I wasn’t hitting it very well this morning but I was making a lot of putts inside 12-feet that saved me. I sank a nice 10-footer for birdie on my first hole and ended the round with another great birdie putt on my last hole,” said Kim.
The Korean has been in stellar form this season with four top-10 finishes in his past five ADT appearances. He refuses to get ahead of himself despite being in the lead as he is aware of the tougher challenge ahead.
“I have been in this position a couple of times already this season so it is nothing new to me. There is still so much golf left to play and it is a really tough golf course so anything can happen,” added Kim, who turned professional last year.
Malaysia’s Ben Leong, a one-time Asian Tour winner, traded four birdies against one bogey to take a share of the fifth spot.
“I had to play 29 holes today so I am just glad to be done with my round because today’s conditions were extremely hot and humid. I made a bogey on hole 15 due to a wrong club choice but I recovered right after with a birdie on the approachable par-five hole,” added Leong, who is also a two-time winner on the ADT.
The halfway cut was set at even-par 144 with 56 players advancing to the final two rounds.
Leading second round scores:
132 – Joohyung Kim 69 63
133 – Trevor Simsby 65 68
135 – Naoki Sekito 70 65
136 – Sukree Othman 70 66 , Mardan Mamat 69 67
137 – Nicholas Latimer 70 67, Ben Leong 68 69 , Shahriffuddin Ariffin 70 67
Melaka, Malaysia, June 26: American Trevor Simsby fired a flawless seven-under-par 65 to set the first-round target at the weather-hit PGM ADT Championship @ Tiara Melaka on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old Simsby, who is playing in his first year in Asia, holds a one-shot lead with his bogey-free round highlighted by seven birdies at the RM 225,000 (US$54,000) event.
Play was delayed due to heavy rain with the morning session commencing only at 12.30pm local time. It was later abandoned at 7.10pm due to fading light.
A total of 62 players returned to Tiara Melaka Golf and Country Club to complete their rounds on Thursday at 7.30am with the second round starting at 11.15am.
Simsby, who came through the Asian Tour Qualifying School this year with a tied-16th result, was thrilled to open his campaign on a good note after spending six weeks back home in Carlsbad, California.
“It’s my first tournament since I played in Korea on the Asian Tour in May. I went home after that and played a couple of events to keep my momentum going and I’m happy to play well in my first round back in Asia,” said Simsby, who has already enjoyed three top-10 finishes on the ADT in his rookie season.
“I putted really well today and had really good course management. I was surprised the course was still in playable condition despite how much it rained this morning,” added Simsby.
“The highlight of my round would have to be hole nine. I hit my approach long and it went over the green and into a mud patch. I had to hit a punch shot onto the green from a terrible lie and then sank an eight-footer for birdie,” added the American, who joined the play-for-pay ranks in 2014 and has been plying his trade on the Web.com Tour as well as the PGA LatinoAmerica Tour.
Thailand’s Kosuke Hamamoto carded a blemish-free 66 to sit in second place while countryman Kasidit Lepkurte posted a 67 to take the third spot.
A group of four players lie a further shot back in fourth place following matching 68s. They include India’s Yuvraj Sandhu, Malaysian duo Ben Leong and Irfan Yusoff as well as Thailand’s Poom Pattaropong.
Kosuke, who is currently placed third on the ADT Order of Merit, relied on his stellar short game to mark his card with six birdies.
“It was a stress-free round with very little mistakes. I was hitting it good and made a couple of good saves. Like on hole 17 I made a good up-and-down from three feet and saved par from there. I ended my round with a 10-foot birdie right after,” said Kosuke, who is born to a Japanese father and Thai mother.
Leading first round scores:
65 – Trevor Simsby
66 – Kosuke Hamamoto
67 – Kasidit Lepkurte
68 – Yuvraj Sandhu , Ben Leong, Irfan Yusoff, Poom Pattaropong
Melaka, Malaysia, June 25: Thailand’s Kosuke Hamamoto will be hoping to bank on his consistent form as he goes in search for his first professional win at the PGM ADT Championship @ Tiara Melaka which gets underway on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old Thai has chalked up three top-10 finishes in his past four Asian Development Tour (ADT) appearances, including a runner-up result on home soil in February. With the 2019 ADT season reaching its turn, Kosuke will be launching another title assault at the RM 225,000 (US$54,000) event.
Kosuke will be part of a promising field that consists of close to the 20 ADT winners who will converge at the Tiara Melaka Golf and Country Club.
They include Thailand’s Itthipat Buranatanyarat, who is currently in the driver’s seat on the Merit list, as well as former ADT Order of Merit winners Miguel Carballo of Argentina (2018) and Pannakorn Uthaipas of Thailand (2017).
Home favorite Ben Leong, the highest-ranked Malaysian in the field, will spearhead the local charge along with two-time Asian Tour winner Danny Chia, at the event which marks the ninth leg on the ADT schedule.
Kosuke, who is born to a Japanese father and Thai mother, remains confident that his first professional win is right around the corner and has set realistic expectations for himself this week.
“This season has been a pretty consistent one for me and I have had a couple of good finishes. I just want to focus on my game and not think too much about a win so that I don’t put too much pressure on myself. A win is right around the corner and I am just being as patient as possible,” added Kosuke.
Currently placed third on the ADT Order of Merit and playing in his rookie season since turning professional in October last year, Kosuke is aware that there is still a long way to go if he wants to remain inside the top-seven on the money list.
“I’m in a great position so far halfway through the ADT season, but we have many events left on the ADT so I have to keep pushing forward.
“The goal is to be in the top seven by the end of the year or somehow finish inside the top-60 on the Asian Tour,” added Kosuke, who came through Asian Tour Qualifying School in his very first attempt this year.
Other notable names in the field that features players from over 16 countries include Japanese duo Naoki Sekito and Shinichi Mizuno, Wang Wei-lun of Chinese Taipei, Korea’s Joohyung Kim as well as Thailand’s Varanyu Rattanaphiboonkij.