Nicholas Fung of Malaysia claimed his maiden Asian Tour title following a stroke victory over local young gun Jazz Janewattananond in the final of the US$500,000 Queen’s Cup Bangkok Airways-SAT Samui Golf Tournament at the Santiburi Samui Golf Club yesterday.
Inspired by the company of his father En Ping, Fung generated a brilliant chip putt on the 16th hole followed by a back-to-back birdie on the 17th to close with a 67 on 15 under-par-269. Apart from the biggest cheque in his career of US$90,000 as winner, the 27-year-old also gave the biggest gift for his father on Father’s Day.
“It’s a special gift for my father. I won an ADT event in Malaysia which was on my mum’s birthday and this week, winning on Father’s Day is important. He’s taught me a lot since I was young. He brought me to the golf course, taught me how to be a better golfer and how to be a confident person to face the future. I just followed his advice and thanks to him, he guided me all the way until today to win this tournament,” said Fung.
The overnight leader, courageously holed a four-foot par putt on the 18th hole, dashing the hope for a play-off from Jazz or Attiwit who had already finished earlier after closing with a 66 on 270.
“I started even par on the front nine but managed to shoot four under on the back nine and managed to get a win. It was very exciting. It’s my first win and I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time. I’m very happy. And also it’s the best day to win as it’s Father’s Day. It’s the best gift I can give to my dad (Fung En Ping). This first win means a lot as I’ve been playing on the Asian Tour Tour for four or five years. I’ve always tried to win and finished second a few times,” said Fung setting his sights on more wins and a top 10 in the yearend Order of Merits. He also joined countrymen Danny Chia, Airil Rizman and Ben Leong as winners on the region’s premier Tour. Fung is also the fifth first-time winner this season.
Jazz, 21, kept on Fung’s coattail throughout a frenetic last day, staying bogey free for the second successive round at a tricky Santiburi Samui to shoot a 66 while Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao birdied his last three holes for a 67 which gave him third place, two behind the new champion.
Jazz Janewattanond reacts after missing a putt.
“I didn’t have a good round on the second day (shot 72). I’m happy with three good rounds though. I played really good but Nicholas deserves the win. He had four good rounds, I had three good rounds. You can’t compete against that. If my second round was better, then I could have competed better. I didn’t win the winning score to be 15 under, I always thought the number will be 14 under,” said Jazz after missing a chance to win his second Tour title after his maiden in Bangladesh this year.
“I learned a lesson from today and will use this experience in the future. I played in a US PGA Tour several weeks ago and that experience really helped me today,” added Jazz who will have a week break before entering the All Thailand Tour in Chonburi next week.
Two former champions Thaworn Wiratchant and Prayad Marksaeng settled at fifth and tied sixth after their total of 273 and 275 respectively.