Michael Tran of Vietnam sensationally won his maiden Asian Development Tour (ADT) title after defeating overnight co-leader Lam Chih Bing of Singapore on the first play-off hole at the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament on Saturday.
Tran, who was one shot off the pace heading into the final round, signed for a closing four-under-par 68 after sinking a crucial 15-footer birdie putt on the last hole 18th to force a play-off with Lam, who bogeyed the hole for a 69, at the US$100,000 ADT event.
The duo were tied on 18-under-par 270 total in regulation play before returning to the par-five 18th for the play-off battle where Tran outplayed Lam with a birdie against a par at the Damai Indah Golf, BSD course.
Thailand’s Sutijet Kooratanapisan, who held a share of the overnight lead, settled one shot back in third place with American Jarin Todd after signing for rounds of 70 and 68 respectively while Panuwat Muenlek, also of Thailand, took fifth place on his own on 273 following a 71.
Singapore’s Mitchell Slorach (67) and Thailand’s Atthaphon Sriboonkaew (70) shared sixth place on 274 while Rinaldi Adiyandono emerged as the highest place Indonesian in tied-35th position after carding a second consecutive 70 in what is the richest ADT event in Indonesia this season.
Tran became the first Vietnamese to win on the ADT following his victory at the Ciputra Golfpreneur Tournament, which marked his second professional win since joining the play-for-pay ranks in 2008.
“I was just enjoying it and I didn’t think too much. It is my first time playing here and also my first time getting into a play-off! This is by far the best finish I’ve had in my career. I have never shot lower than this before. It’s definitely a great motivation for me and I am looking forward to the remaining of the season,” said the 25-year-old Vietnamese.
Tran, who mixed his card with seven birdies against three bogeys, will take home the winner’s prize purse of US$17,500 and receive six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points courtesy of his win.
“Chih Bing had a good chance to win as he was leading by two shots heading into the last hole but I just focused on playing my own game. I have had four solid rounds this week and I am very happy with how I’ve played. The greens were perfect and I guess that helped the low scores this week,” added Tran.
Since it was inaugurated in 2010, the ADT has grown from five events in the first year to 21 tournaments in 2014. A record 25 tournaments has been confirmed for the 2015 season.
The ADT will continue to reward the top-five finishers on the final Order of Merit with Asian Tour cards for 2016.
With the Olympic Games looming in 2016 where golf will be reintroduced as a medal sport, players in the region could earn their spots in Rio de Janeiro by earning Official World Golf Ranking points through the Asian Tour and ADT.
For more information on the ADT, please visit www.asiandevelopmenttour.com.
Leading final round scores:
270 – Michael TRAN (VIE) 70-66-66-68, LAM Chih Bing (SIN) 69-67-65-69
271 – Jarin TODD (USA) 66-68-69-68, Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 66-67-68-70
273 – Panuwat MUENLEK (THA) 68-67-67-71
274 – Mitchell SLORACH (SIN) 66-74-67-67, Atthaphon SRIBOONKAEW (THA) 71-66-67-70
275 – CHOO Tze Huang (SIN) 70-69-71-65, LEE Chieh-po (TPE) 70-67-71-67, Poom SAKSANSIN (THA) 70-67-71-67, Tirawat KAEWSIRIBANDIT (THA) 70-67-68-70, Gyeongjun LEE (KOR) 66-71-67-71
276 – Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA) 69-69-73-65, James BYRNE (SCO) 67-72-66-71, Jordan SHERRATT (AUS) 66-72-66-72