Salah gets everything right to end 30-month title drought

  • Golf
  • Sunday, 29 Jul 2018

Kemarol Baharin celebrates his three-stroke victory at the PGM UMW Impian Championship on Saturday

PETALING JAYA: American Josh Salah is a winner again after 30 months when he beat Shakhawat Shohel of Bangladesh in a playoff at the PGM Northport Championship.

Salah, 27, sealed victory with a par at the third extra hole after Shakhawat’s shot went into the right hazard and was unable to get up-and-down at the par-four 17th at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club yesterday.

The duo were tied on 13-under 275 at the end of regulation play.

It was Salah’s second Asian Development Tour (ADT) victory after winning the PGM CCM Rahman Putra Championship in Jan 2016.

The win moved Salah up by 14 rungs to fifth place in the ADT Order of Merit and he immediately set his sights on qualifying for next year’s Asian Tour.

“Now that I’ve won, I’ll be aiming for one of the seven Asian Tour cards on offer for the 2019 season. I’m ready for the next step,” said Salah, who walked away with the RM39,375 winner’s purse.

Kemarol Baharin (pic) continued his fine form after winning last week’s PGM Pahang Closed Championship.

He fired a flawless 66 yesterday to finish in sole third spot on 11-under 277 to be the best-placed local in the field.

National No. 1 amateur Ervin Chang gave a good account of himself by coming in joint fourth.

Starting the day two shots off the pace, Ervin birdied his first three holes to join Shakhawat for the lead before picking up further shots at the sixth and 10th holes to open up a two-shot advantage at one stage at 13-under.

But the 20-year-old failed to sustain the lead, dropping bogeys at the 11th, 13th an 16th but hung on to end up fourth for his best finish in a professional event.

Ervin, who’s bound for the Asian Games in Jakarta next month, was not disheartened despite missing out on the glorious chance to become the only second amateur winner on ADT.

“From competing to contending, it was really enthralling for me to start as a competitor and finish as a strong contender,” said Ervin.

“I basically came from nowhere ... from 52nd position after the first round, a pair of 66 and 67 shot me up to second.

“I was giving my final push but then it wasn’t enough. Certainly, I was thrilled to be holding the lead at 13-under at one point. ‘Victory’ would have to wait for me another day, hopefully soon.

“Overall, I am very happy with my performance this week and this will motivate me to improve further,” added Ervin.

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