Featured Gallery – Asian Development Tour

Suttijet surges into four-way tie for clubhouse lead at PGM Maybank ADT Championship


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 28: Thailand’s Suttijet Kooratanapisan shot a solid successive four-under-par 68 to claim a share of the second round clubhouse lead at the PGM Maybank ADT Championship with countryman Atiruj Winaicharoenchai, Shinichi Mizuno of Japan and Matt Killen of England on Thursday.

Suttijet, a one-time Asian Development Tour (ADT) winner, kept his hopes of winning his first title of the season alive when he traded seven birdies against three bogeys at the Saujana Golf and Country Club.

Joint first round leaders Mizuno, the defending champion and Atiruj both maintained their position atop the leaderboard following matching 70s to share the lead with Killen (68) on an eight-under-par 136 total.

Local hopeful Amir Nazrin (69) was among the three players tied in fourth-place, just one shot adrift. Maybank ambassador Gavin Green, too, gave the home fans something to cheer about as he bounced back with an improved 68 to move to three-way tie for ninth on 139.

The second round of the US$54,000 tournament, which is the second last stop of the 2019 ADT schedule, was halted at 5.34pm local time due to lightning threat. A total of 28 players will return to complete their second round at 7.30am on Friday.

Suttijet is hoping to translate his recent good form into a second victory on the ADT. His sole triumph was at the PGM Palm Resort Championship in 2016.

Prior to this week, Suttijet had performed well in his last two Asian Tour starts, finishing tied 23rd at the Panasonic Open India and tied 12th at the Sabah Masters.

“I love playing in Malaysia. It feels like playing back home, the grass and green is very similar to the golf courses in Thailand.

“It was also in Malaysia three years that I earned my breakthrough on the ADT. Hopefully I’ll be able to end my title drought here too,” said Suttijet.

Teeing off from the 10th hole, Suttijet made a modest start when he mixed three birdies with two bogeys to turn in 35.

He then stepped up his game, firing four birdies in the next eight holes before a closing bogey prevented him from securing an outright lead.

“I hit my approach shots very well today and gave myself lots of birdie chances which I converted. The course is narrow, hitting a good first shot is equally crucial too.

“The best birdie I had was at the hole 18. My third shot went past the green a little bit, but I made a good chip in there.

“As for the last hole, I didn’t hit it as straight as I wanted before the second shot landed in the bunker. I actually recovered well with my shot rolled quite close to the hole, but I missed the putt.

“But that’s no big deal. There’s still two days left,” he said.

The leading seven players on the ADT Order of Merit at the end of the season will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2019 season.

Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered for all ADT events. The winner will earn a total of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 26: Malaysian ace Gavin Green will lend his star credentials to the PGM Maybank ADT Championship when it gets underway at the Saujana Golf and Country Club on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old, who is the ASEAN ambassador of the Malaysian banking giants Maybank, will make his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) appearance in more than two years when he headlines the US$54,000 tournament, which is the penultimate stop of the season.

Green, who has been mainly competing on the European Tour this season, is thrilled to be playing again in the region’s secondary circuit where he had won three times, including being the first amateur winner following his victory in 2014.

Green secured his Asian Tour promotion by finishing second on the ADT Order of Merit in 2016 and his career has gone from strength to strength ever since.

He impressed right away in his debut season, bagging a title and three runner-up finishes to be crowned the 2017 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion.

“It will certainly bring back some good memories, the ADT was where it all started for me after I turned pro in 2015. I’m happy to be able to play this week.

“It’s a great circuit and very competitive too,” said Green, who has also signed up for next month’s Thailand Masters on the Asian Tour as he seeks to end the year on a high.

The world No. 243 Green is also eying the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points at stake in the tournament to boost his position whilst doing his part for Maybank.

“I will certainly not say no to the ranking points.

However, more importantly, this is the Maybank leg of the ADT and it’s a good opportunity for me as their ASEAN ambassador to play in this event.

“It will be nice to do well as this will definitely help in preparing for the Maybank Championship next year. I like this (Palm) course and I had a lot of good memories playing here,” said Green.

The local contingent also comprises of newly-wed Nicholas Fung and Ben Leong, both winners on the Asian Tour.

They will battle for the US$9,529 top prize with the likes of Japanese duo – current Order of Merit leader Naoki Sekito and last year’s champion Shinichi Mizuno, as well as the other top performers of the season such as Thailand’s Pannakorn Uthaipas, England’s Steve Lewton and American Trevor Simsby.

But all eyes will be on Sekito, who is hoping to edge closer to the Order of Merit victory with yet another strong result.

Sekito was playing catch up in second place to Korea’s Joohyung Kim before the latter’s made his Asian Tour breakthrough at the Panasonic Open India a fortnight ago. .

Kim, who won his third AT title this season in Pakistan last month to earn playing rights on the Asian Tour for the remainder of the season, secured a one-year winner’s exemption on the Asian Tour following his victory.

Having secured his Asian Tour card for 2020, the 17-year-old teen sensation will no longer feature on the ADT Order of Merit as he will not be eligible for any of the remaining ADT events this season.

Sekito, who amassed US$49,827 to date, leads by more than US$20,000 from second-placed Pannakorn (US$29,293).

“I didn’t expect to be back on top again! Fortunately my friend Kim earned Asian Tour breakthrough recently and this paved way for me to lead the money list once more, after losing it to Kim earlier on.

“I was so happy for Kim and he inspired me a lot. I’ve played with him in a lot of tournaments this year and the guy has already won on Asian Tour! I feel like I’m not too far from it too.

“But for now my goal is to win the OOM to secure a better exemption status on Asian Tour next year.

“I know I’m getting close to it and just need solid finish this week. No Japanese has done it before, so I’ll be so happy if I can accomplish the goal for my country,” said Sekito.


Photo credit: OB Golf

Bandung, Indonesia, September 24: Malaysia’s Brandon Lau set the early pace by carding an opening five-under-par 67 at the Combiphar Players Championship on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old, still winless after playing four seasons on the Asian Development Tour (ADT), mixed his card with seven birdies and two bogeys to lead by one shot from local hope Joshua Andrew Wirawan at the US$100,000 event.

Chinese Taipei’s Wang Wei-lun and American Trevor Simsby carded identical 69s to take third place while Sam Gillis of the United States, Jesse Yap of Singapore and Udayan Mane of India are tied for fifth at a further shot back at the Parahyangan Golf.

Lau, who started on the back-nine 10, dropped a bogey on 13 but quickly recovered with three birdies over the next four holes to turn in 34.

The Malaysian continued his solid display after crossing over, picking up four more shots including a hat-trick of birdies on holes six, seven and eight to offset his second blemish of the day on five.

“I’m very pleased with a 67 today as this golf course could play pretty tough in the wind.

“I played simple golf today and I stuck to my game plan. Hit fairways and greens and fortunately made quite a few putts within eight feet and in which helped a lot.

“But other than that I just minimised mistakes today and put the ball in play that was basically it,” said Lau.

Lau insists the good start would count for nothing if he cannot replicate the same consistency over the next three rounds.

At the PGM Northport ADT Championship last month, Lau also fired 67 to be just one shot off the pace after the opening round, but failed to build on it and settled for tied 25th.

“Consistency will happen through experience. So, I won’t try to put four good rounds together.

“I’ll just play my game and let it happen. Not going to think about it and take it one round at a time,” he said.

Wirawan credited his strong iron play after he impressed with a round of seven birdies, with five coming from the opening eight holesand three bogeys.

“In the first-nine, my iron play was really good. I hit a lot of greens and most of them landed on within 10 feet, and I made the most of my putts.

“I could not do as well in the back-nine though as the wind started to pick up. I was struggling to figure out on my club selection, especially on par-three. But overall I’m happy with my game today,” said Wirawan, who has one domestic title won in 2017 under his belt.

Wirawan hopes to take advantage of the solid start and try turn it into a possible victory.

Inspired by compatriot Rory Hie’s recent Asian Tour triumph, Wirawan hopes to bring further glory to Indonesia in golf.

“I had a chat with Rory after his win in India. He was trying to lift my confidence by saying ‘you have to play to win, not just to make cut. If I can do it, so can you’. That was truly inspiring and hopefully I can do the same too!” said Wirawan.

George Gandranata remainsthe only Indonesian golfer to have emerged ADT winner when he clinched the PGM LADA Langkawi Championship in 2016.

By featuring on the ADT schedule, the Combiphar Players Championship will offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.

The winner will receive six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.


Jakarta, Indonesia, July 25: The highly rated Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament 2019 presented by Panasonic will return for its sixth consecutive edition on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) from August 21 to 24 (Wednesday to Saturday) next month.

The popular event will continue to boast a prize purse of US$110,000 and will once again be held at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course – BSD Course by Damai Indah Golf, located in Tangerang, Greater Jakarta.

Co-sanctioned by the ADT and the Professional Golf Tour of Indonesia,the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament 2019 presented by Panasonic will be the 11th leg of the 2019 ADT season and the third event to be played in Indonesia this year.

Last August, Miguel Carballo claimed a thrilling victory for his first ADT title after prevailing in a record-breaking play-off battle that stretched over seven holes. He became the first ever Argentinean to win on the ADT following his breakthrough win.

Carballo had closed with a flawless eight-under-par 64 to force the sudden-death play-off with Amir Nazrin of Malaysia and Poom Pattaropong of Thailand after the trio was tied on 16-under-par 272 total in regulation play.

The play-off battle, held on the par-five 18th hole, saw Amir getting eliminated on the first extra hole after he hit a wayward tee shot into the water hazard which resulted in a par while Carballo and Poom birdied.

The remaining duo then went head to head in what is the longest play-off battle on the ADT since the secondary circuit was inaugurated in 2010. The lengthy play-off also matched the record set on the premier Asian Tour in 2001.

Carballo would go on to cap a solid 2018 season where he was crowned the ADT Order of Merit champion, thanks to one win and eight other top-10s in 13 starts.He is now a two-time winner on the region’s secondary circuit after claiming his second title in Thailand two months ago.

In 2017, Japan’s Masaru Takahashi sensationally ended a four-year title droughtwhen he closed with an eight-under-par 64 to win by one shot over Singaporean veteran Mardan Mamat for his second ADT title.

The 31-year-old Takahashi went on to cap a superb season where he finished second on the final ADT Order of Merit in 2017, courtesy of one win and nine top-10s, and secured his playing rights for the Asian Tour season in 2018.

Oscar Zetterwall of Sweden earned for himself a prized Tour card for the 2017 Asian Tour season after finishing third on the 2016 ADT Order of Merit, thanks largely to his victory at the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament that year.

At the 2015 Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament, Michael Tran of Vietnam secured his ADT breakthrough after prevailing in a play-off while James Byrne of Scotland emerged victorious after claiming a three-shot victory in the inaugural edition in 2014.

DR. (HC) Ir. Ciputra, Chairman of the Ciputra Group, said: “We’re excited to announce the return of the tournament on the ADT this year. We have celebrated many worthy winners through the staging of the event over the past few years and we hope to continue doing our utmost best in supporting the development of golf not only in Indonesia but across Asia.”

This year will mark the third year that Panasonic will provide a special exemption to the 2019  Panasonic Open in Japan.  The exemption goes to the best Indonesian professional at the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament.  Last year Danny Masrin took the honor of the best Indonesian professional.

Jimmy Masrin, Chairman of the Asian Tour, said: “On behalf of our members, I would like to express our appreciation to Ciputra and Panasonic for their unwavering dedication towards the development of golf in the region.

“The ADT has proven to be a successful platform for aspiring golfers to hone their skills and gain valuable competitive golf experiences but we would not be able to achieve that without the support and commitment of sponsors like Ciputra and Panasonic.”

“We are proud to be receiving the continuous support of a global company like Panasonic. We have enjoyed great successes and proud of the commitment until this edition” added Budiarsa Sastrawinata the Managing Director of Ciputra Group.

Being one of the richest events on the ADT schedule this season, the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament will play a pivotal role in determining the Order of Merit rankings, where the top seven players on the final 2019 Order of Merit will earn a coveted Asian Tour card for 2020.

By featuring on the ADT schedule, the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament will also offer Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points. The winner will receive at least six OWGR points while the top six players and ties will also earn points based on a sliding scale.

For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.

Ends.  


Bogor, Indonesia, July 16: The inaugural Gunung Geulis Golf Invitational Supported by Nomura will make its debut on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) when the US$75,000 events gets underway from July 30 to August 2 (Tuesday -Friday).

The newest ADT event is the Tour’s second stop in Indonesia this season and will provide the region’s emerging stars with another playing opportunity at the highly-rated Gunung Geulis Golf and Country Club, located in Bogor, about 50 kilometres from the national capital of Jakarta.

The Gunung Geulis Golf and Country will also be hosting an ADT event for the third time since it first opened in 1992.

Danny Masrin, the highest-ranked Indonesian, is expected to spearhead the local charge alongside one-time ADT winner George Gandranata, who holds the honour of being the first Indonesian to win on the ADT in 2016.

An international field consisting of 144 players from close to 20 countries will likely feature at the East course at the Gunung Geulis Golf Invitational.

The ADT, which offers Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, has already unearthed several promising talents and winners this season including a 17-year old Korean, Joohyung Kim and Thai sensation Sadom Kaewkanjana, who went on to become the fastest Qualifying School graduate to win on the Asian Tour in April.

Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner and CEO of the Asian Tour, welcomed the addition of the Gunung Geulis Golf Invitational on the ADT, saying it will positively impact the professional golf scene across Indonesia and Asia.

“On behalf of the ADT, I would also like to thank OB Golf and the Gunung Geulis Golf Invitational for their strong commitment and support. I believe we can provide the platform for Indonesian golf to grow and develop through the staging of this event.

“The golf landscape in Indonesia is certainly very vibrant and promising and we are looking forward to seeing more young and exciting talents bursting into the scene through this new event,” said Cho.

The leading seven players on the final ADT Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season and the winner of the Gunung Geulis Golf Invitational will take home a prize purse of US$13,125.

Ends.


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


Phuket, Thailand, May 19: Argentina’s Miguel Carballo prevailed on the first play-off hole to win his second Asian Development Tour (ADT) title in the final round of the Singha Laguna Phuket Open on Sunday.

Carballo entered the round four shots off the pace, but a birdie blitz led him to close with a six-under-par 64 and force a play-off with Joohyung Kim of Korea and Thailand’s Chinnarat Phadungsil at the award-winning Laguna Golf Phuket.

Kim and Chinnarat returned with rounds of 68 and 65 respectively to tie with Carballo on a 15-under-par 265 total at the end of regulation play at the THB 2,000,000 (approximately US$63,860) event co-sanctioned by the All Thailand Golf Tour (ATGT).

The 40-year-old Carballo only needed one extra hole to edge out his competitors on the par-four 18th hole, after rolling in a crucial six-foot putt for birdie while Kim and Chinnarat settled for tied-second.

Carballo, the reigning ADT Order of Merit winner, dropped a shot on his first hole but recovered with a birdie on the second. He gained momentum towards the middle of the round with five straight birdies starting from the sixth hole and added an eagle on hole 14 that ensured his place in the play-off.

“I played solidly all four rounds and was hitting it good. All my birdie putts were either tap-ins or inside 10-feet and I gave myself a lot of chances. I made bogeys today on holes one and hole 18 which were the only two holes that I three-putted,” said Carballo, who dropped another shot on his way home.

The victory marked his second ADT title since he triumphed in a seven-hole play-off battle in Indonesia last August and became the first Argentinean to win on the region’s secondary circuit.

“I am very happy to win again. It is my second play-off victory on the ADT and it came at the right time because I was planning on going back to Argentina for a month after this. My goal now is to win on the Asian Tour,” added Carballo, who took home a prize purse of US$ 9,121 and six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.

Mr Ravi Chardran, Managing Director of Laguna Golf Phuket, was pleased to welcome another worthy champion at the third edition of the Singha Laguna Phuket Open.

“Thanks to All Thailand Golf Tour and Asian Development Tour for bringing this event back to Laguna Phuket, following our recent award of “Best Sports Event Venue in Thailand” at SPIA Asia. With our long history of destination sporting events including the Marathon and Triathlon, this professional golf tournament is now another highlight on our annual calendar,”

“Although nobody walked away with Banyan Tree Group’s special USD10,000 hole-in-one prize, Argentina’s Miguel Carballo will get to stay at our flagship resort Banyan Tree Phuket as part of his winning prize,” added Mr Chardran.

Leading final round scores:

265 – Miguel Carballo 65 68 68 64, Chinnarat Phadungsil 68 64 68 65, Joohyung Kim 65 65 67 68

267 – Hein Sithu 69 68 63 67

268 – Danny Masrin 63 69 67 69

269 – Itthipat Buranatanyarat 69 70 65 65, Sam Gillis 67 69 66 67, Pannakorn Uthaipas 70 66 64 69, Suradit Yongcharoenchai 68 66 64 71


Jakarta, Indonesia, May 10: Newcomer Seung Park became the first Korean to win on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) after prevailing on the second play-off hole to claim his maiden professional title at the OB Golf Invitational on Friday.

Starting the day four shots off the pace, Park traded five birdies against a bogey to close with a four-under-par 68, matching the four-day efforts of Thailand’s Panuwat Muenlek, who returned with a 67, at the US$65,000 ADT event.

The duo, who were tied on 14-under-par 274 total following regulation play, were forced to go the distance as they returned to the par-five 18th hole for the sudden death play-off at the highly-acclaimed Royal Jakarta Golf Club, which is a regular host venue on the Asian Tour.

It was the 22-year-old Park who eventually triumphed after pipping Panuwat to the title with a par against a bogey on the 74th hole. Despite taking four shots to reach the green, Park rolled in a 12-footer for par while Panuwat two-putted from six feet to settle for a bogey.

“I didn’t expect anything coming in to this week. It feels so surreal to win, especially with my father cheering me on all week. I almost cried walking off the green after I sank that putt,” said the young Korean, who missed the mark at the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January.

Park, who had his father supporting him from the sidelines all week, took home a winner’s purse of US$11,375 and received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points, thanks to his victory.

“It has been a tough few years and I haven’t been striking it well since I finished my military service in January. My game just peaked at the right time and I am glad to have earned my first professional victory,” added Park, who propelled to seventh place on the ADT Order of Merit following his win

“I played really well today, coming back from five shots behind. Even though I lost today, I am happy because I gave myself a chance to fight for another ADT victory in a play-off. I will keep trying because I know a win will come soon,” said the 33-year-old Thai, who had missed out on his fifth ADT title following the play-off defeat.

Leading final round scores:

274 – Seung Park 71 67 68 68, Panuwat Muenlek 71 67 69 67

276 – Masaru Takahashi 70 71 70 65, Wang Wei-lun 67 67 70 72

277 – Danny Masrin 69 66 72 70, Sorachut Hansapiban 68 69 70 70, Rory Hie 68 66 71 72, George Gandranata 68 69 68 72, Hayato Yoshida 68 69 68 72

Ends.


Bandar Seri Begawan, April 27: Thai star Prom Meesawat showed his battling spirit by rallying with a birdie on the third play-off hole to defeat Japan’s Naoki Sekito and clinch the Butra Heidelberg Cement Brunei Championships in the final round on Saturday.

Prom, a two-time Asian Tour winner, who is playing on a sponsor’s invitation this week, started his final day four shots back of the lead.

He hauled himself quickly back into contention by firing seven birdies on holes two, six, seven, 10, 11, 12 and 15 before dropping his only shot of the day on hole 16 at the US$75,000 Asian Development Tour (ADT) event.

Prom’s four-day total of 20-under-par 260 was enough for him to force his way into a play-off with Sekito, who stunned the field with an impressive 61 in regulation play at The Empire Hotel and Country Club.

The duo went head-to-head on the first play-off hole held on 18 but both of them had to settle for pars after missing their birdie attempts. Sekito had an opportunity to win on the second extra hole but narrowly missed a 10-footer and settled for par with Prom.

The play-off was then moved to the ninth hole where Prom eventually triumphed after striking a solid approach to eight-feet and rolling a decisive putt in for birdie. Naoki settled for second place after failing to make birdie from off the green.

“I had a birdie on hole 15 and was three-shots clear of the field. I thought it was good enough, but I didn’t expect to make that bogey on hole 16 and for Naoki to birdie the last two holes.

“But I am glad to have won on the third play-off hole, it was a great fight. That last approach shot on the ninth hole was probably the best iron shot of the week for me,” said Prom.

With good friend Kiradech Aphibarnrat withdrawn from the event due to a knee injury, Prom was pleased to have won the title on his behalf. He will take home a winner’s purse US$13,125 and a minimum of six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.

“It always feels great winning a golf tournament especially playing on an invite this week it’s an honour to win this event. Kiradech won last year and it’s a shame he didn’t get to play all four rounds.

“I told him after the second round that I would try and defend the title for him and I am glad I was able to keep to my word,” added Prom, who is nicknamed ‘Big Dolphin’ due to his burly physique and because he hails from the coast town of Hua Hin.

Despite missing out on back-to-back ADT victories since making his breakthrough last week, the 21-year-old Sekito took pride in his flawless round highlighted by nine birdies, which marked his personal-best round since joining the play-for-pay ranks in 2017.

“61 is my best score and I am very happy to have broken my personal-best record. I did my best, especially losing to Prom in a play-off. He did really well. I have no regrets this week and it is looking like a good season for me.  I hope to continue on this momentum and take one of the seven spots on the ADT Order of Merit,” said Sekito, who made his breakthrough on the ADT in Penang last week.

The Organising Committee of the Butra Heidelberg Cement Brunei Championships announced a charity drive through its “Birdies for Charity” program at the start of the week. A total of 947 birdies were recorded after four rounds and through the generous contributions of its donors, the program received a total of B$11,000.

All pledges will go directly to the Dana Pengiran Musa Mahkota Al-Muhtadee Billah for Orphans and the Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam.

Leading final round scores:

260 – Prom Meesawat 66 68 62 64, Naoki Sekito 68 67 64 61

264 – Austen Truslow 65 67 64 68

265 – Wang Wei-lun 66 68 64 67

266 – Tawit Polthai 65 64 63 74

268 – Sarit Suwannarut 66 68 67 67, Casey O’Toole 65 69 65 69

Ends.


Penang, Malaysia, April 20: Japan’s Naoki Sekito captured his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory with a four-under-par 68 in the final round of the PGM ADT Penang Championship on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Japanese compiled a four-day total of 17-under-par 271 to win by one shot over Malaysia’s Danny Chia (66) and American Sam Gillis (68) who were tied for second at the RM225,000 (approximately US$54,000) event.

American Trevor Simsby and Malaysia’s Amir Nazrin carded matching 69s to take the fourth and fifth spots respectively at the Bukit Jawi Golf Resort.

Sekito entered the final round with a one-shot lead, but relinquishes that lead when he dropped a shot on his very first hole.

“I bogeyed my first hole after I pushed my tee shot to the right and had to chip out from behind the trees. But after that bogey, I was less nervous because I wasn’t the sole leader so I knew I could keep chasing,” said Sekito.

With the pressure of his spirited rivals off his back, he held his nerves to stay bogey-free for the rest of the round, notching birdies on holes two, seven, 10, 12, and 15.

“Right after that hole, I made a birdie putt from six feet which gave me that extra boost. I wasn’t hitting the ball very well but I was very lucky on my back nine. I chipped in on hole 12 from 20 yards for birdie and had another good birdie putt from 10 metres on hole 15,” said the young Japanese.

With his victory, Sekito 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.

“I told myself in January, that my goal was to win on the ADT and get into the top-seven on the Order of Merit. Now that I have won I am really happy and I can’t wait to call my family and tell them,” added Sekito, who moved up to take the fifth spot on the ADT Order of Merit.

Two-time Asian Tour winner Chia was thrilled to rediscover his form with a new putter in the bag this week. He traded two bogeys against eight birdies to enjoy his first top-10 finish in two years since his joint runner-up result on the ADT in July of 2017.

“I’m very happy with how I played this week, it has been awhile since I have had a top-10 finish. It was an up-and-down round where I had a good run of birdies from holes three to seven but three-putted on hole eight for bogey.

“Overall I am putting well and this week was a confidence boost. I can see the changes since I switched my putter and I am playing more consistent golf,” added Chia, who won his fourth ADT title in 2016.

The leading seven players on the final ADT Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the premier Asian Tour for the 2020 season.

Leading final round scores:

271 – Naoki Sekito 70 69 64 68

272 – Danny Chia 70 70 66 66, Sam Gillis 70 67 67 68

274 – Trevor Simsby 67 71 67 69

275 – Amir Nazrin 65 75 66 69

277 – Nirun Sae-Ueng 67 69 72 69

Ends.