PETALING JAYA: Koh Dengshan made it two consecutive Malaysian Open amateur golf championship victories on the trot for Singapore by outlasting Filipino Dante Becierra in the final showdown of the match play competition at Kelab Golf Negara Subang yesterday.
Singaporean Goh Kun Yang had prevailed in the final round at Nexus Golf Resort Karambunai in Sabah last year in what was the last edition played in only the stroke play format.
After a pedestrian display in the stroke play competition where he only tied for 13th place – six strokes behind the winner, Muhammad Arie Irawan of Malaysia, Dengshan made full use of the match play lifeline.
“It was awesome today. I led all the way against such a tough opponent and I’m happy to win,” said Dengshan, who dedicated his victory to his parents.
“In the afternoon session, I putted brilliantly and stayed calm and patient even when Becierra tried to make a comeback.”
The 20-year-old Dengshan was hardly troubled in the final round and raced to a 3-up lead at the conclusion of the morning session. He maintained his form in the afternoon to keep Becierra at bay.
Armed with a hot putter, the Singaporean took the first three holes of the afternoon session to double his advantage to 6-up. Becierra staged a fightback late in the afternoon, making three straight birdies from the 13th to the 15th holes to go two-down.
It was, however, too little too late as both players squared the 17th hole, leaving Dengshan with a 2 and 1 triumph.
“My putting was very poor today. I missed six putts from inside four feet,” said a disappointed Becierra.
“I tried to fight on but in the end it was too much. This tournament is not meant for me, may be next year, I’ll win it.”
In the consolation match for third place, Malaysia's Alex Tiong overcame Australian Paul Mews 1-up.
The 20-year-old from Sibu, Sarawak came up with his best all-around game, taking control on the front nine and letting Mews do the chasing on the back nine.
“I’m happy with third place. It was a surprise, really, as I only expected to go as far as quarter-finals,” said Alex.
Third-place playoff: Alex Tiong (Mas) bt Paul Mews (Aus) 1-up.
Final: Koh Dengshan (Sin) bt Dante Becierra (Phi) 2 and 1.
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