KAJANG: The week couldn’t have gone any better for golfer Kemarol Baharin.
Suffering from astigmatism (blurred vision), the 29-year-old has always struggled with his approach shots or reading the greens.
But the bespectacled Kemarol got the better of his ‘condition’ and the field on Saturday to land his third PGM Tour crown - after winning the PGM UMW Impian Championship at the Impian Golf and Country Club in Kajang.
Kemarol, whose last title came at the Tournament of Champions in January 2014, clinched the RM180,000 co-sanctioned Asean PGA Tour event by three strokes after closing with a four-under 68 for a 17-under 271 total.
Thai pair Settee Prakongvech and Sutijet Kooratanapisan both made a late charge but could only card 68 and 70 respectively to finish joint runners-up on 14-under. Their compatriot Natthapong Niyomchon was fourth, a further shot adrift after posting a 70.
Kemarol, who started the day with a one-shot lead alongside Thailand’s Donlaphatchai Niyomchon, made his move early by birdieing the third hole.
Kemarol held his nerve to par his next nine holes before pulling ahead with three consecutive birdies from 13th which moved him three clear of the chasing pack.
“It was a much needed triumph, especially after missing back-to-back cuts in Terengganu and Rahman Putra recently,” said Kemarol, who walked away with the RM30,600 winner’s cheque.
“I’m so proud of myself today because I managed to hold my nerve till the end. The bright sun didn’t help. It made the condition even harder to play as my eyesight is bad.
“Fortunately today some of my approach shots landed near the hole for easy tap-ins.
“Hopefully I can perform the same way at the PGM Johor Championship (next week),” added Kemarol.
Joint leader Donlapatchai’s title ambition faded the moment he gave away three shots at the fourth and fifth (double bogey). He eventually shot 73 to share fifth spot with eight-time PGM Tour winner R. Nachimuthu, who signed for a 72.
In seventh was Shaaban Hussin who equalled the course record of Rashid Ismail after carding a phenomenal 10-under 62 that comprised an eagle and eight birdies.
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