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Sunday June 30, 2013
By LIM TEIK HUAT
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian golfer Nicholas Fung kept his nerves in check over the closing three holes to claim his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the PGM-UMW Templer Park Masters yesterday.
The Sabah-born Nicholas beat American Berry Henson by one stroke despite making bogeys on 16 and 18 for a one-over 73 for a 10-under 278 at the Templer Park Country Club.
Henson carded a 72 after making four straight bogeys from the 14th hole to settle for second place while Malaysian Shaaban Hussin recorded a 73 for third place on 281 in the RM200,000 tournament.
Rising star Michael Tran of Vietnam also shot a 73 to finish a further shot back in fourth.
Talented Filipino Miguel Tabuena posted a 69, the day’s lowest score, to share fifth place with Malaysians Sukree Othman and Zurie Harun on 286.
The bespectacled Nicholas was elated when he finally managed to join the winner’s circle after coming close on several occasions.
The victory also elevated him to the top of the ADT Order of Merit with his US$23,471 earnings.
“This feels great because I’ve been trying to win on the ADT for so long.
“I was feeling nervous on the last hole and I’m fortunate that I made bogey and not worse.
“Berry and I had a good fight but when he had the stretch of bogeys, it gave me more confidence,” said the 23-year-old.
Nicholas, the second Malaysian after Danny Chia to triumph on the ADT this season, is now setting his sights on winning on the Asian Tour.
“I’m getting better because I can win on the ADT. Now, I’m looking forward to win on the Asian Tour.
“There are many international players here so it isn’t easy to win. I tried really hard today,” said Nicholas, who earned his Asian Tour card at the Qualifying School in Thailand earlier this year.
“I want to be an example to other Malaysians. I hope more Malaysians will play on the Asian Tour.
“If I can do it, so can the other players,” said the smiling Nicholas, who won US$11,010 and earned six Official World Golf Ranking points.
Henson, a winner on the Asian Tour and ADT, rued his lapse in concentration on the closing stretch but was gracious in defeat.
“I’m going to forget about everything today. I don’t want to remember about anything on the last few holes. I was mentally exhausted and couldn’t keep it together.
“Fung played brilliantly. He is tough to play against. He doesn’t hit it far but he hits it straight and puts himself in position to score. This win might springboard him to do better on the Asian Tour. I wish him the best of luck,” said the American.
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