JAY BAYRON of the Philippines won his third Asian Development Tour title by defeating Hsu Mong-nan of Chinese Taipei and Malaysian Nicholas Fung by one-shot at the PGM Eastwood Valley Masters on Saturday in Miri, Malaysia.
Bayron, who started the final round with a three-shot lead, carded an even-par 72 to win his second ADT title of the season, which propelled him to the top of the Order of Merit.
Carl Santos-Ocampo closed with a 71 and wound up with a 286 total, while Mhark Fernando had a final-round 76 for a 290 aggregate.
Hsu and Fung made a final round charge of 70 and 68, respectively, but had to settle for joint second place in the US$80,000 ADT event at the Eastwood Valley Golf and Country Club.
Bayron was delighted to overcome the pressure from Hsu and Fung as he held on to his overnight lead with three birdies against as many bogeys.
“I felt the pressure throughout the round. I came from behind to win in Indonesia so to be leading going into the last day was different for me,” said Bayron, who totalled 11-under-par 277 and won US$14,000 (around P570,000).
The Filipino is now a step closer to securing a 2013 Asian Tour card as the top three players on the Order of Merit will earn playing rights on the region’s established Tour.
“I knew how important this win would mean to me and my rankings on the Order of Merit. It isn’t easy to finish in the top three of the Merit list but I know that it is even more stressful trying to earn your Asian Tour card in Qualifying School.
“This win means a lot to me. I’m happy I won and now I’m quite confident of staying inside the safety zone. I just need a good result in Chinese Taipei (Yeangder ADT, which is the last event of the season) to cement my position,” said Bayron.
After his birdie on the fourth hole, Hsu played par golf and needed a final push to secure his first ADT win. He was rewarded with a birdie on 15 but his title hopes was dashed when he ended his campaign with a bogey and birdie finish.
“I’m happy with how I finished. This is my second runner-up result on the ADT and I feel that I’m coming closer to a victory,” said Hsu, who has played on the Asian Tour since 1997
Fung was aiming for a third straight victory after winning in Indonesia and Malaysia in the past two weeks but took pride in his battling performance. He said the result will prepare him for the Barclays Singapore Open next week and the Asian Tour Qualifying School in Thailand in 2013.
“I’m very happy with how I played because I was bogey free. I’ve learned a lot about my game and I’m feeling very confident. Hopefully I can continue in Singapore next week then my ultimate goal will be to earn an Asian Tour card next year,” said the Sabahan.
The ADT has grown from five events since its inauguration in 2010 and has expanded to a record of 13 events this year. The ADT will also be afforded with Official World Golf Ranking status in 2013 which is a huge boost for the development of the game in Asia.