Jakarta, July 18: Niall Turner of Ireland survived a bumpy final round to win his first Asian Development Tour (ADT) title after posting a one-over-par 73 at the US$60,000 Linc Group Jakarta Classic on Friday.
The 30-year-old Turner held a five-shot lead heading into the last day but had to fend off the strong challenge from Englishman Peter Richardson before winning by one shot with a 10-under-par 278 total at the Imperial Klub Golf.
Richardson, who has one ADT victory, settled for second following a 69 while Thai talent Annop Tangkamolprasert ended his campaign in third position after shooting a 68 for a 281 total.
Turner dropped two bogeys on holes two and three but swiftly recovered with two birdies before the turn. A bogey on 14 narrowed the Irishman’s lead to one but he held on to his narrow advantage to win the second edition of the Linc Group Jakarta Classic.
The victory was exceptionally sweet for Turner who had been struggling with a hip injury in the last three years.
“I really needed this win. It has been quite grim in the last few years because I had a bad hip injury since 2011. That was the only thing holding me back. I was born with a defect in my hip and had to go through some surgery. My hip feels great now although I had to make slight changes in my swing.
“Winning a tournament really gives you the confidence. It will be an important few weeks on the ADT and I really want to get back on the Asian Tour. Hopefully I can stay healthy and continue my form,” said Turner, who won US$10,500 and earned six Official World Golf Ranking points.
Richardson, who was bogey-free in his last 45 holes, held his head high after pushing Turner to the limits, but he was disappointed not to take the outright win or force a play-off when he returned with four straight pars.
“I played great without any bogeys. I had a few birdies and put him under pressure. I was close but I couldn’t quite make the putts when I needed to. I had chances on the last four holes to make birdies but didn’t quite get the line or pace right.
“My goal was try to put him under pressure and I did. I’m pleased with the way I played and fought out there,” said the Englishman, who won his first ADT title in Malaysia in 2012.
This season, the ADT will reward the top five players on the final Order of Merit with playing rights for the 2015 Asian Tour season. Previously, the top-three players were offered Asian Tour cards since the ADT’s launch in 2010.
Leading fourth round scores:
278 – Niall TURNER (IRL) 70 68 67 73
279 – Peter RICHARDSON (ENG) 72 70 68 69
281 – Annop TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 69 73 71 68
283 – Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA) 71 72 73 67, Grant JACKSON (ENG) 69 68 76 70, Brett MUNSON (USA) 67 69 75 72
284 – CHOO Tze Huang (SIN) 73 70 73 68, Konosuke NAKAZATO (JPN) 71 70 71 72
286 – Arie IRAWAN (MAS) 77 69 70 70
287 – I Ketut SUGIARTA (INA) 71 70 76 70, Jordan SHERRATT (AUS) 71 74 70 72
288 – Unho PARK (AUS) 72 71 70 75
289 – Rory HIE (INA) 71 73 75 70, Mathiam KEYSER (RSA) 70 68 79 72, YE Jian-feng (CHN) 74 71 72 72, Kurnia Herisiandy SANTOSO (INA) 71 75 71 72
290 – Kevin MARQUES (AUS) 72 75 71 72, Wisut ARTJANAWAT (THA) 76 73 72 69, William SJAICHUDIN (INA) 76 73 74 67, Jordan IRAWAN (INA) 75 72 69 74
Source: Asian Tour