Spaniard Puig flies high with nine birdies to clinch Malaysian Open

Spain's David Puig poses with the trophy after winning the final round of the Malaysian Open at the Mines Resort and Golf Club in Seri Kembangan on Sunday. - Photo: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR: Spaniard David Puig carded a splendid nine-under 62 for a four-day total of 23-under 261 to win the 2024 Malaysian Open Golf Championship - his second title since turning pro less than two years ago - at The Mines Resort & Golf Club on Sunday (Feb 18).

That handed him a two-shot win over South Korean Wang Jeung-hun, who sizzled with a 10-under 61 on the final day for a four-day total of 21-under 263 in the US$1 million (RM4.78 million) championship.

Puig, whose first professional win came at the International Series Singapore last October, blazed the course with nine birdies - with five on the front nine - on Sunday en route to pocketing the first prize of US$180,000 (RM860,400).

Thailand's Denwit Boriboonsub, who also dazzled with a 10-under 61 on Sunday, and American John Catlin shared the third spot a stroke behind with a 20-under 264 total.

The 22-year-old Puig, Jeung-hun and Denwit, thus, earned the right to play in the prestigious 2024 British Open at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland from July 18-21.

Puig was thrilled to bits after winning the championship and confirming his spot in the British Open.

"Yeah, I feel great. It was obviously a very good week. I'm super, super happy and excited that I won here in Malaysia, especially after those first two days (when he carded a 66 and 71). They weren't that good,” he told reporters.

V. Khavish Varman, who was joint leader after the second round and joint 14th after the third, carded a three-under 68 today for a four-day total of 15-under 269 to be the best-placed Malaysian golfer.

"I hit a good drive, a disgusting second shot and I ended up with a six. I gave it my all on the back nine.

"I did my part but I have got a lot of work to do. I’m pleased with how I played this week, (especially) after my injury and stuff...,” said Khavish, whose 68 on Sunday comprised six birdies and three bogeys.

Two other Malaysians, Ervin Chang and Jeremiah Kim Leunkwang, ended the day with a four-day total of 10-under 274 and nine-under 275.

No local golfer has won the Malaysian Open since its inception in 1962, with the late P. Gunasegaran the only one to have come closest in 1994 before being edged by Sweden's Joakim Haeggman after a playoff of eight holes. - Bernama

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