Teenager Daeng Abd Rahman became the youngest player to ever win on the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour when he clinched the RM180,000 Danau Closed Championship by a single stroke today.
Daeng, who held a one-stroke overnight lead, kept his nerves in check to upstage the pros with a classy performance at Kelab Golf Danau UKM in Bangi, Selangor and seal the victory while only 15 years and eight days old. He shot a fourth and final round two-under 70, which gave him a 10-under 278 total.
Daeng eclipsed Thailand’s Panuwat Muenlek, who was 15 years eight months when he set a new mark at the Terengganu Championship in the middle of last month, as the youngest player to win on the Tour. And with his victory, Daeng forced Sukree Othman and Akhmal Tarmizee into a playoff for second place, merely to determine who collected the lion’s share of the prize money, given that as an amateur the teenager was not eligible to the RM30,600 payout for the winner.
Sukree emerged the better from the playoff and duly collected the biggest cheque of the day.
Daeng, meanwhile, was at the top of the world and beaming with delight. He said after his win: “I am very happy.”
Then turning to his last day performance that secured him the crown, he added: “I struggled over the first nine and it got worse at the 11th hole where I made a double-bogey. I was in the hazard and in trouble.
“But I came back with the three birdies and that helped me get back into it,” said Daeng, who is also a member of the Malaysian Golf Association’s national Elite squad and will feature at the Asian Games in Singapore in June.
Daeng’s father, Aziz, was equally pleased and proud with his son’s victory and said: “He played well today, just as he did the other three days. And again his putting was very good, which made the difference.”
Sukree said he was disappointed with what he called an “up and down” round. He also finished with a 70 and had six birdies to show for his efforts. But those were countered by four bogeys.
“That is how it is sometimes in this game,” said Sukree. “You play well but a few mistakes set you back.”
A multiple winner on the Tour, Sukree added that a new wedge in his bag needed more time to get used to and was in part the cause of a “few slip-ups around the greens”.
Akhmal, who closed out the tournament with a 69, said he was happy with his overall performance – his second top-five finish this season.
“I am happy with my game, although I know I need to improve in certain areas,” said the player who has one and only win on the Tour – the 2012 Maybank Tour Players Championship.
The next stop on the PGM Tour calendar is the Sabah Championship, co-sanctioned with the Asian Development Tour, at Sabah Golf & Country Club from May 6-9.
Leading Fourth Round Scores
278 Daeng Abd Rahman (A) 72-68-68-70
279 Sukree Othman 72-65-72-70, Akhmal Tarmizee 70-67-73-69
282 Kemarol Baharin 71-67-72-72
283 Shahriffuddin Ariffin 74-74-68-67
284 R. Nachimuthu 73-68-73-70
285 Shaaban Hussin 73-70-72-70, Mohd Rizal Amin 72-75-66-72
285 Airil Rizman 71-70-71-73
286 Bryan Teoh Wiyang (A) 73-69-75-69, Amir Nazrin (A) 72-74-70-70, Irfan Yusoff 72-70-72-72, Khor Kheng Hwai 69-68-76-73, Ben Leong 71-72-70-73, Kim Leun Kwang 71-71-70-74