THE grass is not getting any greener for the men’s golf team as Ervin Chang (pic) again failed to land a medal, coming in fourth in the men’s individual event at the Luisita Golf and Country Club, Tarlac City.
The 21-year-old, who went into yesterday’s final round two shots off the podium position, carded a solid two-under 70 to finish on seven-under 209, missing out on the bronze medal by four shots.
Ervin, making his first SEA Games appearance, was aiming to become the first men’s individual medallist since Gavin Kyle Green, now an European Tour professional, clinched silver at the 2013 Myanmar Games.
K. Rhaasrikanesh also shot a respectable 68 but it came too late and he finished ninth on 212, to give Malaysia two places in the top 10.
Debutants Adam Arif Madzri and Zubair Firdaus both failed to shine, coming in 17th on 219 and 22nd on 226 respectively.
James Leow of Singapore secured a stunning victory to end Thailand’s 14-year domination of the event.
James fired a 65 to pip Thailand’s Tanapat Pichaikool to the gold by one stroke, making him the first non-Thai champion since Juvin Pangusan of the Philippines won in Manila 2005.
In the women’s division, Natasha Andrea Oon emerged as Malaysia’s best finisher on sixth after closing with a 71 for even-par 216 total.
Natasha finished a distant seven shots behind winner Bianca Pagdaganan, who reclaimed the title following a six-year drought.
Bianca’s also fired a final round 71 to compile a seven-under 209 total and win by three shots from Thailand’s Kan Bunnabodee.
World No. 1 women’s amateur golfer Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand failed to defend her title and could only manage fourth spot.
The was no magic from the highly-rated Alyaa Abdulghany, who stays in the United States, in her debut for national team.
Alyaa came in joint 10th with compatriot Ashley Lau.
National golfers will switch their attention to the two-day team competition, which will be played in match play format, starting today.