JOHOR BARU: Australian Luke Hickmott stuck to his game plan and kept his cool when it mattered most to beat New Zealander Richard Squire to the Pan-West Malaysian Amateur Open golf title on the final green in sudden death playoff at the Royal Johor Country Club here yesterday.
Hickmott and Squire were tied on a four-day total of five-over 293 and it was the first time in the tournament's history that the title was decided in a playoff.
The 22-year-old Hickmott came into the final round, one stroke behind joint overnight leaders James Nitties of Australia and Squire.
“I played fairly well under the hot and humid conditions. I was striking the ball well but my putting was average. During the playoff, I was trying to get the ball to the front of the green but fell short,” said Hickmott, who will turn professional next year.
Squire, a four-handicapper, paid a heavy price when he misread the depth of the ball in the rough.
“It looked like the ball was down the rough and I tried to ground the club but in fact the ball was caught in between rough and I paid for it,” said a disappointed Squire.
“But that is what golf is all about. Luke played a better game and the best man won.”
Malaysians Mohd Sukree Othman and S. Sivachandran had a total of 298 to finish in joint fourth place with Gareth Wright of Wales. In the final round, Mohd Sukree carded a two-over 74 while Sivachandran returned a 75.
Australia won the team event with a total of 289 while Malaysia and Wales were joint second on a 293.
293: Luke Hickmott (Aus) 71-75-73-74, Richard Squire (Nzl) 71-73-74-75. 296: James Nitties (Aus) 69-74-75-78. 298: Mohd Sukree Othman (Mas) 73-74-77-74, S. Sivachandran (Mas) 76-7-77-75, Gareth Wright (Wal) 73-75-72-78. 299: David Price (Wal) 72-73-76-78. 301: Chen Ming-chuan (Tpe) 75-77-74-75. 302: Aidil Haris (Mas) 78-77-74-73, Mavin Duman (Phi) 79-75-75-73. 303: Suprapto (Ina) 80-77-71-75. 305: Mohd Hanafiah Jamil (Mas) 76-75-75-79. 307: Eric Chun (Kor) 73-78-78-78; 309: Faridil Atras (Mas) 79-79-75-76, Chen Ming-hsin (Tpe) 83-74-76-76. 310: Wisut Artjanawat (Tha) 82-77-73-78, Im Man O (Usa) 78-73-78-81, Jay Bayron (Phi) 75-77-76-82.