PETALING JAYA: National No. 1 Ervin Chang finally captured the Singapore Amateur Open (SAO) golf championship in his third attempt.
The 19-year-old managed a closing two-over 72 but it was enough for him to stroll to a five-shot victory over homester James Leow at the Singapore Island Country Club yesterday.
Ervin was unchallenged from the opening round on Tuesday when he fired a career-best 18-hole score of eight-under 62 before adding 68, 65 and 72 to finish on 13-under 267.
The US-based golfer was fifth in his debut in 2016 and finished runner-up in last year’s edition.
The victory was also extra sweet for Ervin as he had to battle through illness this week.
“I’m thrilled I prevailed after coming so close on two previous occasions, especially last year,” said Ervin, who represents Virginia-based Liberty University in the USA.
“It was not easy as I was playing despite having a fever the last three days.
“The opening 62 definitely put some pressure on some of my challengers, but what mattered more was I was able to maintain my performance throughout the whole week.
“Winning the (SAO) will certainly boost my confidence for the Asian Games.”
Promising youngster Zubair Firdaus made it two Malaysians in the top 10 by tying for 10th on one-under 279.
The 16-year-old Zubair has been impressive of late as he had just won the Queensland Boys’ Amateur last week.
Another Indonesia Asian Games-bound player Muhd Afif Fathi could only manage 43rd position in the 120-man tournament.