Saujana senior’s title goes down to the wire

Saujana Seniors champion S.P. Maniam.

PLAYING off a six handicap, S.P. Maniam continued his recent good form with a first triumph in the Saujana Senior Club Championships.

The 55 year-old, who won the Swing Back to Golf Tournament at the beginning of last month, secured the title at Saujana Golf & Country Club with a sudden-death playoff victory over Selvan Subramaniam.

The top-two were tied on eight-over 152 after the two days, Maniam signing for 77 and 75, while 10-handicapper Selvan carded 79 and 73.

Eric Foo (hcp 1) shot two 78s for a 156 total and a tie of third place with defending champion and six-handicapper Stewart Beck, who was 76 and 80 over the two days.

Five-handicapper William Houng-Lee was in fifth place on 162.

Beck led after the opening day with four-over 76 on the championship Palm course, followed by Maniam on 77, two-time champion (2017 and 2018) Foo on 78 and Selvan on 79.

At the turn on the second and final day, Stewart retained his 1-stroke lead over Maniam and was two ahead of Selvan. However, by the 13th hole, both Maniam and Foo had taken the lead with Selvan a stroke adrift. Stewart endured a double bogey at the 11th and then bogeyed the next two holes as well, from where he was unable to recover sufficiently.

Maniam then surrendered the lead to Foo at the 14th, after a bogey and fell into a tie with Selvan, one stroke back.

At the the uphill par-3, 16th hole, the lead changed hands again as Foo slumped to a double-bogey five, for Maniam and Selvan to lead.

At the par-4 17th, Selvan took sole lead of the event after Maniam could only manage a bogey.

But there were still twists and turns left in this tournament as Maniam birdied the 18th to force a playoff, with victory to follow soon after with a par at the first extra hole.

“I missed a birdie putt from 10 feet (in the playoff) but settled for the par and the win,” said Maniam. “I really prepared for this tournament. I played several practice rounds, tweaking my swing and I felt that I had got it right in the tournament.”

Datuk Raymond Tan clinched the nett title. The 11-handicapper finished with a nett 143 to seal victory.

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