Nitithorn rallies to win at PGM Penang

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Nitithorn Thippong of Thailand won his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title with a final round three-under-par 69 at the RM225,000 (approximately US$58,000) PGM Penang Championship on Saturday.

The 21-year-old, who entered the last day of the tournament one shot behind overnight leader Miguel Carballo of Argentina, made four birdies against a lone bogey to close with a winning total of 15-under-par 273 at the Bukit Jawi Golf Resort. 

Carballo was in a prime position for victory, but he had to settle for tied-second after returning a 72. Also in second place is Swede Malcolm Kokocinski, who earned his fifth top-10 finish this year. With this, Kokocinski has taken over the lead on the ADT Order of Merit list from American John Catlin, who was not in the field this week. 

“I can’t describe my feeling right now! I’ve had excellent shots during the entire round and I’m thrilled to get my first victory outside my home country and on the ADT,” said Nitithorn, who has been in supreme form on Tour in 2018. Before his win, he earned three top-10s in three starts.

“I know that Miguel (Carballo) is a very good and experienced player as he has played on the PGA Tour, so I felt a little bit of pressure playing alongside him. I worked out some strategies with my coach, kept my composure and focused on my game. I’m glad that everything worked out!” he added.

Wilson Choo of Malaysia finished commendably in tied-10th on a 279 total. Amir Nazrin is the next highest-ranked Malaysian. He carded a 66, the day’s lowest score, to finish in 17th place.

The PGM Penang Championship is the seventh leg of the 2018 ADT schedule this year. It is also the ADT’s third stop in Malaysia. Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points are offered on all ADT events with the winner earning a total of six OWGR points while the top-six players and ties earn points on a sliding scale.

The leading five 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.

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

Leading final round scores:

273 – Nitithorn THIPPONG (THA) 70 67 67 69

275 – Malcolm KOKOCINSKI (SWE) 70 67 69 69, Miguel CARBALLO (ARG) 65 68 70 72

276 – Sydney CHUNG (USA) 72 68 68 68

277 – Justin DE LOS SANTOS (USA) 67 73 70 67, Oscar ZETTERWALL (SWE) 70 68 70 69, Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 69 69 69 70, Shinichi MIZUNO (JPN) 71 67 68 71

278 – Adam BLYTH (AUS) 68 73 69 68

279 – Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA) 73 69 68 69, Yutaka ARAKI (JPN) 71 65 73 70, Wilson CHOO (MAS) 70 71 68 70

280 – Johnson POH (SGP) 73 70 68 69, Shohei HASEGAWA (JPN) 69 70 72 69, Poom PATTAROPONG (THA) 72 72 67 69, Donlaphatchai NIYOMCHON (THA) 69 70 68 73

281 – Amir NAZRIN (MAS) 71 71 73 66

282 – Kwanchai TANNIN (THA) 70 69 71 72

283 – Sukree OTHMAN (MAS) 69 72 71 71, Panuwat MUENLEK (THA) 68 74 69 72, Nirun SAE-UENG (THA) 70 68 73 72, Ratchapol JANTAVARA (THA) 68 69 72 74

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